Sarah Palin's New $1.75 Million House Purchase Exposes Another Facet Of The Neverending Housing Scam - Short Sale Fraud

Tyler Durden's picture

This post has two parts: the first one, or the blue pill part, deals with the mundane,  namely Sarah Palin's brand new $1.75 million, 8,000 square foot house in North Scottsdale, which "sits on 4.4 acres and has a home theater, a billiard room, a walk-in wine room and a "resort style backyard" with a gazebo and pool, according to the listing and listing photographs. The brown, stucco-and-stone house, which was renovated this year, has several fireplaces, a six-car garage and mountain views. The property has a circular driveway and desert landscaping." The second part, which is where one takes the red pill, deals with something far more serious: short sale fraud - yet another facet of the ongoing discovery of just how deep mortgage fraud in this country (in this case by real estate "investors") runs. Only this time it is fraud which results in impairments to the banks (arguably). Yet even then, questions remain...

First, a little more on the mundane from the WSJ:

The neighborhood is "as rural as Scottsdale gets," says broker Bob Hassett of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty, who was not involved in the deal but said he was approached in 2007 by a previous owner about listing the home, which he described a "Southwest in feel." Within a square mile of the home, he said, houses are priced between $500,000 and $5 million. Real-estate agent Jeff Sibbach of John Hall & Associates described the area as "low-profile; most of the stuff in there is horse property."

Rumors have swirled for months that Ms. Palin, whom some GOP factions are urging to run for president, has been looking to be based out of Arizona. On Saturday, the Arizona Republic reported that Ms. Palin had possibly purchased the home. She purchased through a limited-liability company that bought the property from Ian Whitmore, who Wednesday identified himself as a real-estate investor. "It was always my intention to sell the home," he said, and declined to elaborate on the work he'd done on the home. Mr. Whitmore bought the property from J,P. Morgan Chase Bank last year for about $800,000, according to tax records.

The property in question is located at 29005 N 82nd Street St.,Scottsdale AZ, per the affidavit of the short sale from JP Morgan to Ian Whitmore (link). Below is a video of the actual property.

A little more on Mr. Whitmore:

Ian Whitmore
15255 N 40th St #115
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 569-2233 Office
Platinum First Realty

Why is this important? Because as the second part of this posts indicates, one of the heretofore unreported aspects of mortgage fraud, which incidentally has nothing to do with the beginning of the foreclosure process, but everything to do with the end, or the REO/Short Sale transaction part, will cost banks up to $375 million in 2011. Housing wire reports:

Short sales increased rapidly over the last several quarters, but wherever there are home sales, there are home sales fraud.

Sales of properties on the verge of foreclosure tripled over the last two years and will increase another 25% this year, according to analysis from CoreLogic.

Analysts found one in every 52 short sales conducted in the first half of 2010 were "suspicious," meaning the lender may have incurred unnecessary losses from fraud. Over the first six months of last year, banks showed $150 million in losses from these suspicious transactions. By the end of 2011, banks could face $375 million in losses from short sale fraud, according to CoreLogic.

Short sales pose a suspicious risk in a variety of ways. One example occurs when the buyer flips the property for a 10% profit less than one month after the bank unloads it.

Analysts also found any property flipped less than three months after the transaction for at least a 20% profit as suspicious. Even at six months after the transaction, a short sale can be suspicious if the buyer flips the property for 40% more than the short sale price.

Analysts said not all of these transactions were fraudulent. Buyers, often investors, can quickly rehabilitate the property, which poses no significant risk to the bank. However, as CoreLogic analysts looked through hundreds of thousands of short sales, some were resold on the very same day.

In these deals, the investor has two separate contracts. One is the purchase contract with the lender. The other is a separate agreement the investor has with a third-party buyer. The two transactions are choreographed and presented to the title company on the same day with the short first executed, followed by the flip to the third-party buyer.

The conclusion:

Overall, roughly 65% of the resales after the originally short sale transaction were deemed "suspicious" and caused direct and unnecessary losses to the bank.

Let's recall the math on Ms. Palin's purchase: Whitmore buys the short sale from JPMorgan in March 2010 for $805,000. He then flips it just about one year later to Ms. Palin for... $1,750,000. A profit of 118%. Surely, this transaction should set off dozens of "suspicious" red flags at JP Morgan.

Ironically, Palin, who in this case is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, may have tripped the alarm switch on a trick that is being used by mortgage "investors" across the country (with who knows what sources of capital - arguably money from the likes of... JPM?), which are buying up wholesale REOs only to flip them to end buyers at up to 100% profits shortly thereafter.

Then again, it would not surprise us if it was none other than JP Morgan who provided the financing to "real estate investor" Platinum First Realty to purchase the property in the first place and to keep it off the market with a substantially above market price. At this point, it is clear that if any aspect of the housing market can be manipulated, it will be.

h/t Manal Mehta

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Tyler Durden's picture

Is "read the post" too much to ask?

Tyler Durden's picture

Please copy and paste the sections from this post that are unfair to conservatives.

JLee2027's picture

The former governor of Alaska MAY have purchased a home in north Scottsdale, Ariz., according to multiple published reports.

I emphasize MAY. This is a rumor, nothing more. Really Tyler you can do better.

lizzy36's picture

In the same way "DSK" MAY have raped a chamber maid?

Fuskushima reactors 1,2 and 3 MAY have melted down?

Or QE3 MAY be enacted.

Or LEH MAY be bankrupt.

OR a million more May's

Newsflash everything is a "MAY", until it isn't.

Really, Tyler does pretty damn great, but i am sure he will appreciate the tip.


LudwigVon's picture

Fuskushima reactors 1,2 and 3 MAY have melted down? No they have now. And LEH really is insolvent.

redpill's picture

I'd like to hear the rumors, thanks. ZH has a pretty good track record with them. If you don't want the info keep your blinders on and ignore it.

Tortfeasor's picture

This comment isn't targetted to you redpill, just finding some space near the top since I'm late to the game.

This article is below ZH's level.  The author must have no idea what words like "renovated" and "fraud" actually mean.

For example, the property was RENOVATED between purchases, which would usually result in an increase in value.

Also, for there to be fraud in the transaction, the purchaser would have had to do more than just get a good deal.  Fraud does not occur just because the bank hires a shitty appraiser.  Fraud requires an overt attempt to decieve a party.  Fraud is very specific, very easy to claim and very hard to prove.  It's why the courts usually have special rules for anyone claiming fraud: fraud is like yelling fire in a theatre.  You better be sure you're right.

Whole article is beneath this site.  Useless for  any purpose other than an obvious ploy to get pageviews.

Go Galt. Please.'s picture

Golly. You sure sound maverick-y. Perhaps you have insight into how a renovation could double the value of a high end property. Maybe a whole lotta electronics hidden, err, installed?
Let's not forget that a fraud can be a person as well as an action. OK, sweetie? Y'know, like Barbie hunting for Caribou.

Tyler Durden's picture

WSJ: "Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has
a roughly 8,000-square-foot home in North Scottsdale, Ariz., for
$1.695 million, according to people familiar with the deal."

Why does any topic involving Sarah Palin always bring out the more, uh, sensitive, crowd?


Votewithabullet's picture

These pussies are not sensitive they simply want to engage the all powerful oz, TELL THEM TO SUCK YOUR DICK. This shit was confirmed hours ago and who the fuck wants to see or hear anything about al fucking gore mein herr? gore vidal would be cool.

ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture


I don't give a fuck about Palin but Whitmore is being defamed in this out-of-character piece. He is a legitimate real estate trader and you should apologise and withdraw these baseless allegations. 

quintago's picture

To go from $850K to $1.7M in a year in Scottsdale means that something is screwed up, big time.

JuicyTheAnimal's picture

That property could have easily soaked up half a million to make it Sarah Palin dancin with the stars fancey.  Elevators ain't cheap I assume.  But then again I never shopped for one. 

NotApplicable's picture

Could, yes. But likely, given the current market? I doubt it. Only an idiot would sink that kind of money into a property expecting to flip it at a greater profit. To actually pull it off, well, that's just stretching the credibility of the idea a bit too far. Especially when the flipper is supposedly a professional who knows what he is doing. Looks more like a RE/money laundering scheme to me.

But that's just my opinion based on my limited view (and Occam's Razor).

High Plains Drifter's picture

i thought house flipping in scottsdale was so.......over..........

i mean this is ground zero for the housing meltdown , isn't it?

Hephasteus's picture

It's a fine line between infamed and defamed.

Hephasteus's picture

Infamation systems got the y2k bug.

What does the peoples libelation army have to do with this?

And why are you diplaying an almost maudlin concern for a real estate agent?

ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

I know the guy, I know the facts...I would hate to think the Tylers get their other stories this wrong.

High Plains Drifter's picture

real estate people are like used car salesmen , politicians and preachers.........

NotApplicable's picture

Well, I've read the article twice now, and I don't see where Tyler makes any claim against Whitmore's actions being illegal. While one can speculate of a quid pro quo for a sweetheart deal, (other than a possibility of JPM loan to Whitmore) it isn't alleged.

As Transformer notes below, if JPM is making 4X the loss with CDes, then they don't have any reason not to move the properties at a "loss."

Funny, some people in this thread go off on the Palin tangent, while you go off on the Whitmore tangent, yet the article is about fraud within JPM's short-selling procedures. Go figure.

max2205's picture

What pawn would overpay in such a depressed market. Even thin research sites can help a buyer get a better deal than a $900k suckerpunch purchase. Maybe palin gets the 900k backdoor as a political contribution??

There are so many walkaways and shortsellers in AZ that even Palin shouldn't have overpaid

High Plains Drifter's picture

i would think that scottsdale is a buyer's market.  she should have shopped around.

Transformer's picture


  Because she's hot.  Don't you have any fantasy's you just might like to have a try with that woman?

writingsonthewall's picture

If you think Sarah Palin is hot - then you need to see your optician.

I would point out that the hottest woman in the world is no use to you if she ignites a feeling of wanting to smash her dimbo face in everytime she opens her mouth.


High Plains Drifter's picture

she is hot, but she also is a traitor and a rope belongs around that pretty neck.

Michael's picture

Because they have to keep pushing the fucking left/right Twilight Zone divide and conker control grid paradigm. That's what they are programmed to do for Christ's sake. They know of no other way to live for crying out loud.

Pleas pay no attention to troll activity as it is only an effort in futility.

acabrer's picture

Because, either they really enjoyed nalin palin. Or not "sensitive" crowd but more like "special" dont want to use retard may insult even more nalin fans. fuck all you political lap dogs. Tyler keep it up spare no one.

tarsubil's picture

Because of the extreme bias in the media. This allows us conservatives to be outraged and develop victim mentalities. Give mynhair a break. I think the premise of this article is stretching it a little for the purpose of a little sensationalism. You can't pretend like you didn't know someone was going to be sensitive about it. Anywho, don't sweat it. No one's perfect.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

it's just bristol surfing the web in between baby rearin' and DWTS

Ben Dover's picture

You know how "touchy feely" the right is.

LowProfile's picture

You wrote:

The former governor of Alaska MAY have purchased a home in north Scottsdale, Ariz., according to multiple published reports.

I emphasize MAY. This is a rumor, nothing more. Really Tyler you can do better.

TD wrote:

...Ironically, Palin, who in this case is completely innocent of any wrongdoing,

I write:  RTFA (Read The Fucking Article)

strannick's picture


TD, dont even dip your toe into such quagmire. Anytime 'conservative' is in the same paragraph as 'liberal' best to liberally use your scroll function and get out of there asap. Next they'll be getting your opinions on 'the Isreali question'

SamuelMaverick's picture

Easy there Tyler. Investors adding value to a bank owned run down distressed property is not  ' suspicious '.  Piss poor article.

dwdollar's picture

Who called Palin a conservative numb-nuts?  Personally, I'd call her a RHINO Israeli warmonger kiss ass bear f******r.

dwdollar's picture

Also, she's menopausal, which is the last thing we need in a world teetering on the edge.

lizzy36's picture

Yes because the non menopausal, merely mid life crisis males (see Schwarzenegger and John Edwards) who are unable to master the use of a condom, are doing a bang up job (pun intended).

dwdollar's picture

I didn't say they were.  But a menopausal woman in charge?  Just detonate the nukes and get it over with.

DeadFred's picture

And she ran on a ticket with a former POW who exhibits symptoms of PTSD. Double the nukes, double the Fun.

Orly's picture

Please slow your roll with that kind of talk.  It's asinine.

Votewithabullet's picture

fucking slow your roll??? WTF

Orly's picture

That's like saying, "Oh, don't vote for her because she's having her period.  She might blow up the world or sump'n.  Last thing we need is a woman on her period with the finger on the button, know what I mean, Vern?"

First of all, it's so 1957 and second, I would rather have a woman running the show than the last group of ass-clowns.  Like Herman Caine asked, "How's that workin' out for ya?"

Transformer's picture

But she looks great in a swimsuit.  If we're gonna have a woman president, might as well be one that looks good in a swimsuit.

Orly's picture

It's what we call in 2013 a "PILF."


jeff montanye's picture

obama looks good in a swim suit and look where that's gotten us.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Obama and Palin should debate on a catwalk in mom jeans...

High Plains Drifter's picture

only 6 junks so far grasshopper? 

High Plains Drifter's picture

the terminator should have known that when you are married for 25 years and have a nice family , you keep dickie in pants at all times......