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Buying a home might become more affordable. Or at least the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, a government fund that helps low-income people build or rehabilitate homes, would get some windfall.
But the biggest question the Trump administration has yet to answer is this: Are homeowners more or less likely to fall prey to schemes or fraud, which the investigation will try to determine? And could homeowners in real estate assets — credit scores, home prices — be priced out of market? Sometimes you need title insurance.
“People don’t really see those details, or don’t have the know-how, to figure out how to become homeowners,” said Brian Tucker, founder of Domain, a buyer’s advisory firm.
That’s why Tucker has begun targeting companies, which he identifies as fraudulent brokerages, in his business.
One is Fortz Mortgage Corp., an Arizona-based company that has claimed to offer lenders “round-the-clock” access to every borrower’s loan history — even when a borrower is under foreclosure, or because of a mistake.
Fortz also wants to get a borrower’s home price, one of the main factors to determine affordability. To do that, Fortz uses four sets of information: records from an appraiser, housing data from a real estate website, online websites for mortgage companies and investor’s websites.
This approach has helped Fortz predict the exact day when the house sold for more than the home was worth, and the seller was able to purchase it at a lower price. The company has been so successful, it has hired employees to manage its advertising in the banking industry.
Borrowers should be wary of a lender-affiliated property appraisal company when they are seeking a mortgage, Tucker said. “A lender-affiliated appraiser may sell a home before it is even appraised,” he said. “The property appraisal is the cherry on top.”
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