With the dramatic rise in housing costs, real estate fraud is becoming increasingly common. Real estate fraud can occur through title fraud or through foreclosure fraud. Title fraud happens when someone fraudulently obtains title to another person's property and then either sells the property or applies to a new mortgage against it.
Foreclosure fraud happens when an individual or corporation has difficulty making mortgage payments. Fraudsters then can deceive the property owner into transferring property title in order to get a loan to help with payments. Such payments are not applied and the fraudsters possess title to the property of the home, which can be resold or remortgaged.
Real estate fraud attracts a significant penalty in the criminal courts. Judges see these types of fraud as exceptionally aggravating as they involve a high level of sophistication and significant amount of financial loss.