Mortgage Fraud Takes Heavy Toll

"This is just another area in American life where a boom, with all its money to be made, brought out the worst in us," said Callahan. "The carrots for cheating are getting bigger, and even though the sticks are hitting harder, our watchdogs are asleep, so it's easy to get away with things."
 
Demos issued a report warning that conflicts of interest pervade the home loan trade, where inflated property values have delivered handsome benefits to lenders and realty agents, leaving homeowners to discover their dearth of equity.