Typically, sellers were paid a certain price, but buyers unwittingly took out loans at levels sometimes twice as high as the selling price.
Dealmakers say the practice is legal. But it has sparked federal indictments and lawsuits elsewhere, and buyers contacted by the newspaper said they weren’t aware they had signed a more expensive mortgage.
Washington Mutual Bank has been hit hard. It made 65 of 124 the newspaper deemed “suspect.” Many of the deals were assembled by Jeff Radabaugh, a 37-year-old who has had addresses in