Saturday, April 17, 2010

Queens Neighborhood Ranks #1 Nationally In Bogus Home Loan Concentration: Study

In Jamaica, Queens, the New York Daily News reports:
  • Forget Las Vegas. Forget Miami. The No. 1 neighborhood in the U.S. for mortgage fraud is in the heart of Queens. A new study says a section of South Jamaica has the highest concentration of bogus loans in the nation, with zip code 11436 the absolute worst.

  • First American CoreLogic, a mortgage and real estate data company, analyzed 80 million loans from Maine to Malibu from 2004 through last year. The firm says the fraudulent loan rate in the 9 square miles of blue-collar Jamaica is four times the national level and tops other hotbeds of lousy loans like Orlando, Atlanta and Detroit.

  • The zip code the bank singled out includes the four-block area highlighted by the Daily News in 2008 as "Ground Zero" for foreclosures in New York. The fraud included lying about nonexistent income, inflating the value of homes by selling and reselling to co-conspirators, bribing appraisers and stealing deeds and identities. "In Jamaica, we didn't see [only] one type of fraud," said Tim Grace, First American's senior vice president. "It ran the gamut."


  • The borough's elderly - many of whom have owned homes in Jamaica for years - are especially vulnerable, experts say. "They tend to be equity-rich and cash-poor, which is a prime target for any villain," said Assistant Queens District Attorney Greg Pavlides, whose office got 228 mortgage fraud complaints last year - twice the rate in 2005.

For more, see Jamaica, Queens leads the nation in fraudulent home loans.