Americans Believe Mortgage Fraud Wrecked Real Estate Market

By: Mike Colpitts

More than three out of four Americans believe mortgage fraud wrecked the booming real estate market, according to a poll conducted by Housing Predictor.com, an information driven web site, which forecasts local housing markets in all 50 U.S. States.

A nearly over-whelming majority of 76% of respondents said that loan fraud has had a negative effect on the markets. The poll was conducted over a 45 day period ending May 11, 2007. Another 20% of respondents said they believed that loan fraud did not have an impact on real estate, while the remaining four percent were undecided.

The Predictor Poll is timely especially since Congress is considering enacting new laws to control the mortgage industry further as a result of the growing sub-prime loan crisis.

The rate of foreclosures rose 47% nationally in March from loose lending guidelines and unscrupulous lender and mortgage borrower practices.

The nation's foreclosure rate, however, was much higher during the U.S. Savings and Loan Fraud Crisis in the early 1990's. That crisis resulted in major bailouts by the government costing every man, woman and child in the nation an estimated $10,000.

Congress is considering new laws to control the mortgage industry, which many feel would cause a backlash for homeowners, many of whom need to refinance out of adjustable rate mortgages coming due and result in an even higher rate of foreclosures.

The increase in foreclosures has been part of the Housing Predictor forecast model since the beginning of 2007, long before the rise in foreclosures. Researchers for Housing Predictor became aware of the growing problem of mortgage fraud more than two years ago.

Despite the increase in mortgage fraud cases and the resulting hike in foreclosures, at least 17 states have some local housing markets which are performing strongly and are appreciating. Housing Predictor forecast in early March that the number of appreciating markets would increase to include more housing markets by late summer.

Housing Predictor regularly surveys visitors for their opinions on crucial economic issues related to real estate, widely considered as the single largest driving force of the U.S. economy. Some 68% of the nation's population are now homeowners, an all-time high.

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