Housing Scams--Not in Texoma - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Housing Scams--Not in Texoma


It is happening across the country, housing scams from "buy and bails" to home stripping, but is it happening in Texoma?

Although a few cases of home stripping have surfaced, the scams are practically non-existent in our area.  When home values depreciate some owners are resorting to a "buy and bail" or what is also known as a strategic foreclosure. 

Sherman Realtor Dean Gilbert explains the "buy and bail".  "It is someone who owns a home and buys a foreclosed property and then lets there existing house go to foreclosure."  It is  onsidered mortgage fraud.  A "buy and bail" is a gamble, with a hope that the mortgage company won't come after you for the existing debt.  But in almost every case, you can expect the mortgage company to collect the debt they are owed.  The gamble can also harm your credit for up to 7 years; a gamble you don't want to take.

In our area, Realtors in Grayson County and Durant say total foreclosures are not as high as the rest of the county and "buy and bailing" and home stripping incidents are practically non-existent.  That's good news for our area and it is helping keep our home prices steady. 

A few stripping cases have appeared in the Southern Oklahoma market and Lorrie Gray, a Broker with Red River Country in Durant says the destruction is due to frustration.  "There's a lot of anger going on and unfortunately that's how people get their frustration out.  They take it out on the property."  Homeowners are stripping their homes of everything from kitchen sinks, to cabinets to glass sliding doors then try to generate a profit by selling them on the Internet. Dean Gilbert, Real Rstate agent and owner of Century 21 in Sherman says, "I don't think that it's a reality in North Texas."

It is happening in Southern Oklahoma.  Lorrie Gray says she's seen it first hand.  "I've seen people take carpeting out, knobs on cabinets even lighting fixtures."

Since the homeowners still owe money on the property they technically don't own it so stripping appliances is stealing.  Lorrie Gray tell us, "If your going to destroy something you haven't paid for it's vandalism" and Dean Gilbert says, "they are violating the agreement with lenders and subject to prosecution."

Although strategic forecloses and buy and bail strategies are happening around the country, the overall outlook for the Texoma homes is positive and it's helping stabilize the local market.  

 Also don't forget if you are looking to buy a home realtors say the time is now if you still want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit.  It is offered to first time home buyers and those who have not purchased a home in the past 3 years.  If you want the credit you'll need to secure a down payment by October 30th because it takes around 30 to 45 days to process and the program ends November 30th.

Christina Lusby, Reports.