And a 'Fraud Expert' stated that 'it was obvious the banks weren't paying attention'. Ya' think? Too bad they couldn't, or wouldn't, put a stop to this when it was 'obviously' taking place. They could have read some of the housing bubble blogs if they needed help.
Sonny Kim’s investment company bought this house at 4809 N 17th St., Belmont Heights, in April 2006 for a $100 deed and sold it three months later for $300,000.
2008-11-30: A case study in housing collapse
This husk sold for $300,000 in 2006 with the help of a no-money-down mortgage from a subsidiary of Washington Mutual Bank. The owner defaulted; WaMu owns it now. Listed for $52,000, the house could be yours for $35,000 cash.
"What we had here was an obvious case of mortgage fraud," said Josh Parker, a Coldwell Banker Realtor.
Most of the homes Sang-Min Kim sold are empty now. Many have code violations, and are clustered in impoverished neighborhoods such as Belmont Heights and Sulphur Springs.
The trail of foreclosures and blight is lined with the bad mortgages approved or assigned by Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, National City Bank, Lehman Bros., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo.
The loans — many made by banks now getting billions in a taxpayer bailout — dwarfed the true value of the properties. Some borrowers had no prospects to suggest they could pay off the loans. Multiple loans from the same bank branch sometimes went to a questionable borrower within weeks of each other.
"It's obvious the banks weren't paying attention, or worse," said Richard Hagar, a property fraud expert.