From the Housing Bubble Blog...
Of course, this is Las Vegas. This is out and out criminal behavior; it's not going to get to be my favorite thing unless it turns out to have been national and structural. It's an enforcement failure, which I don't think is as cool as a legislative or regulatory failure.
[Steve] Hawks [of ReMax Platinum] said he examined title work on several homes and found that someone had removed an addendum that instructs the title company to issue checks to a third-party limited liability corporation. The document is removed or hidden, either way with same result, he said.
For example, a $500,000 listing is bumped to $800,000 and $300,000 gets kicked back to the third party through the addendum. If the institutional investor knew about the $300,000 cash, they would never buy the loan. That's why the addendum has to be pulled or hidden, Hawks said.
But, it could have been national, it could have been reported upward in the 90s or early aughts, and it could have been the result of explicit cuts of enforcement agents. So, all in all pretty emblematic, but it has a few hurdles to jump if it wants to be my absolute favorite thing.