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Scammers fake divorce to get cheaper housing

MORE than 70 people had their low budget-home applications disqualified in an eastern China city after being found to have faked divorce certificates to improve their chances.

Of the total 3,907 applicants in Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong Province, more than 400 were found to cheat in their marital, housing and economic status, including the 70 plus using fake divorce certificates, today's Legal Daily reported, citing Qingdao's housing authority.

The divorced can get favorable policies for applying for cheap homes and low interest mortgages.

They can save more than 100,000 yuan in interest on a mortgage of 300,000 yuan over 20 years, the newspaper quoted a real estate agent as saying.

In face of the skyrocketing home prices, fake divorces have become the last straw for many low-income home buyers and they were reported nationwide.
Some use fake divorce certificates. Others, though registering legitimate divorces, reunite shortly after they get the homes.

In the suburban Renhe Town in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, 1,795 couples out of the total 20,000 population were divorced in 2005 and 732 divorced couples remarried, according to the town's marriage registration office.

Many of the divorced rural residents married township residents to get larger homes and land from the government and then spolit quickly and remarried their previous spouses, office workers told the newspaper.

In Xinbei District of Changzhou City, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, where government is relocating local residents, more than half of the villagers in Taojiawan area have divorced since late last year to get favorable housing compensation policies, the Legal Daily report said.

Last fall, more than 60 couples working at Datong University in northern China's Shanxi province reportedly got fake divorces to get more apartments from the school.

But not all the fake divorces worked as planned and some people were fooled by their own schemes.

A man surnamed Li in Dalian, capital of northeastern China's Liaoning Province, divorced in 2008 and gave all his property to his wife so he could get favorable policies to buy a second home. But when he tried to reunite with his wife, she had married someone else. Li became homeless.

A woman in Beijing surnamed Zhang had the similar story. She got divorced last September to qualify for the city's low-budget homes. But shortly after she found her husband was living with another woman and she was driven out of her home. She filed a lawsuit in the Shijingshan People's Court to rule the divorce was fake but was rejected.


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