Fighting Mortgage Fraud

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Dick Richard is part of an influx of Californians looking to retire in northern Nevada.

He says he was surprised by the year-long waiting lists. He went to a local realtor and got very lucky but, it wasn't an easy process.

"I did a lot of research in the Reno area and checked on the most qualified realtors in the area and I was looking for a bigger real estate company and I did a background check."

Taking the time to choose a realtor and then a mortgage lender is a big part in avoiding fraud, according to the state's bureau consumer protection.

Derek Cocklin, a loan lender with Village Funding, Inc., this is not a process you want rushed. "There are companies that will help you get a house you're not really qualified for. Although, that might seem nice, if you only make a certain amount of money each month.

Whether or not they can get you into that loan, you can't afford it." The commission receives 10-to-15 written complaints a week and 30-to-40 calls a day for mortgage fraud in the state... most of the time the buyer did not read or understand what was agreed in the mortgage loan.

That's why one local loan consultant says they prefer you actually do get more than one mortgage quote to compare, and so they, too, can determine what companies are giving legitimate quotes.

"We're trying to impress that on all the realtors. They do come in with clients who want to see a couple houses. They got a piece of paper that says they're pre-qualified through their personal bank, however, how do we know the paper is legitimate."

With the housing market still booming in northern Nevada, the bureau of consumer protection says it spawns scams, targeting senior citizens and minorities, promising deals to anyone who walks in the door. But, the bureau says not everyone is ready to buy a home, don't let someone else tell you what you can afford.