CA Appraisers in Cahoots with Subprime 'Predator' Head to Court

Who ever still thinks appraisers didn't work hand-in-hand with mortgage brokers to bring on the subprime mortgage crisis hasn't been following the news in Laguna Beach, CA. In this town, the law finally caught up with a family-operated appraisal firm that had its own desk in the office of a major subprime mortgage broker -- a broker dubbed "Predator Zero" on Vanity Fair's list of institutions and people most to blame for the nation's economic problems.

Allegedly, between June 2005 and August 2007, the father-son team of Landmark Equities Group secretly changed appraisal data on documents of others through the use of employees' passwords and electronic signatures, and secretly removed negative property comments to increase the appraised value, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.