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Home Appraisal Fraud??

While many U.S. households have benefited from the recent rise in real estate prices, homeowners who have bought at record high prices are vulnerable to a fall in property values that could leave them owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. This risk is aggravated by the fact that many Americans have reduced the equity in their home to pay off credit card debts and cover day-to day-expenses. More troubling still is evidence that many appraisers fraudulently inflate property values during the buying or refinancing of homes.
A reader advised us of a popular website/blog for appraisers. I won’t mention the URL since it is not something one can casually log onto and read. Your participation has to be approved and this is not an instant process. I was, however, able to spend considerable time there today. The various blogs are filled with complaints and tales about pressure from lenders and real estate agents to inflate values, revise appraisals, or promise to hit a predetermined price. And these posts were from all over the country.

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