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Last week I received an email from a friend relating a story from a realtor. Though the authenticity of the account may be almost impossible to verify, I want to share it anyway, as it may be plausible and the underlying principles involved are nevertheless instructive. Here is the story:

As a Realtor for the past 28 years I thought I’d seen or heard it all … Until now.
I was showing homes in Pontiac, MI. one afternoon recently and showed up at a home at the 4:00 pm time my appointment was scheduled for. After I woke up the homeowner, she let us in and then proceeded to tell my buyers and I that she has already entered into a contract to sell the home on a short-sale. (A short-sale is a sale where the banks accepts less money than is owed on the home). After some chit-chat, she proceeded to tell us that she and her sister (who also lived in the area) were buying each other’s homes via the short-sale process. I mentioned to her that I thought relatives could not be involved in those transactions. She smiled and said “We have two different last names so no one knows the difference”.

She went on to tell us that each of them owed over 100K on their homes and were in the process of buying each other’s homes for about 10-15K cash. To top it off, they were each receiving $3,000.00 in government provided relocation assistance at the closing.

My buyers and I were amazed that she was outright admitting to fraud and yet, she continued. She began to tell us that the best part of her scheme was that because they currently were not working that they (both) are now receiving Section 8 Vouchers. I said I thought those were for renters and she said “That’s the best part; me and my sister are going to be renting each other’s homes so we don’t even have to move, and Obama is going to give us each $800.00 a month to pay the rent!” She then picked up a picture she had framed of Obama and did a little happy dance around her living room and while she kissed the picture she was singing “Thank you Obama …. thank you Obama.”

So here is the bottom line … Both of these scammers got at least $80,000.00 in debt forgiven, $3,000.00 in cash for relocation (when in fact they did not relocate) and to boot, you and I will now be paying (through our taxes) $1,600.00 in rent for each of them each and every month …. perhaps forever!”

To be honest, Snopes judges this particular story to be “probably false.” But note, they can only say “probably” and not “definitely”. Their first reason: it would involve fraud and they doubt someone would admit to it. I recall a news account this week about a poll worker in Cincinnati voting twice for Obama and admitting it. People are sometimes proud of cheating these days.

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