Real estate appraisers, especially appraisers with an expertise in real estate finance, often use the same tactics as the real estate brokers that they are supposed to be protecting.
Many appraisers have forged signatures to be allowed to work on a property they are not licensed to appraise.
In many cases, appraisers use this fraudulent practice to cover their tracks, by using false names and pretending to be appraisers who actually work for the appraiser, to evade the IRS, and to evade state laws against false statements.
Real estate appraisals are also often used to make money.
The fraudulent practices used to obtain appraisement can range from inflated claims of a property’s value, to misrepresenting the actual cost of the property, to making false claims about the buyer’s ability to pay.
Some real estate appraists even use false names to avoid taxes and other fees.
The IRS does not regulate appraisers for these activities, so they are largely unregulated.
But now, the IRS is cracking down on these frauds.
The IRS has sent letters to all of the largest real estate lenders, including some of the biggest players in the market, warning them that if they are using the same fraudulent practices they are now seeing, they may be violating federal law.
In order to make sure that lenders are not violating the law, the letter sent to the lenders reads:The IRS letter is part of a broader crackdown on the illegal activities of real estate and mortgage brokers and their agents.
The letter was sent to lenders who have loaned to real estate buyers for over a year, as well as to the realtors who loan to homebuyers who are making monthly payments on a home.
The IRS also warned lenders to avoid the practice of falsely claiming a property is worth more than it is.
The government said that brokers and appraisers were using these tactics to “make fraudulent claims that would make the lender’s loan applications appear lower in value than they are, thereby misleading investors into believing the loan is more favorable to the seller’s investment.”
For example, real estate broker Kevin S. Miller, who also happens to be the CEO of the realty brokerage Miller Samuel, is a co-owner of a small real estate brokerage that sells a variety of homes, including those in high-priced neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Miller is a frequent critic of the IRS’ efforts to crack down on mortgage brokers who have inflated prices for homes.
The real estate agent told ABC News that the IRS “needs to stop making money off of the mortgage lending business, because there are so many frauds going on.”
In a statement, Miller Samuel said that it “firmly believes that there are serious abuses by real estate companies and their employees.”
The real estate company said that the letter “sets the right tone, clarifies the rules and lays out the government’s intention to take further action.”