Some reasons to list your home for sale with an agent

For those of you who ….have plenty of time on your hands to deal with all relevant details of a real estate transaction from knowing if the Buyer is qualified understand real estate contract law; knowledge about home warranties; pest control; home inspections; contract negotiations; or allowing the general public freely roam about your home without you following them around and making them feel uncomfortable sharing their thought about the home, come in to see your home.

If you are in a hurry and are relocating to another part of the country, an agent can assist with details of transaction while you focus on the employment and move.\

If you never sold a house before and are not comfortable with the process.

If you are uncomfortable about showing your home by yourself to perfect strangers or anyone who stops by to see the house. Are you sure they are qualified, legitimately looking to purchase a house and not scouting the house for valuables to be stolen later.

If you’ld rather spend time doing something else besides answering several unqualified callers’ questions about your house and how low a price you would take.

If you’re thin skinned and will be offended by a personal comment regarding your taste in paint color, floor choice, or other decorating decision.

If you dislike the process of negotiations back and forth with a purchaser.

I’m sure you may even think of more reasons. Also, some people have the ability to deal with the entire transaction themselve, but not everyone.

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Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report

Under the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act of 1955, the Structural Pest Section (SPS) under the Georgia Department of Agriculture licenses and regulates pest management professionals, specifically those engaged in the business of structural pest control in the state of Georgia.

The Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report is a regulated document used by licenses pest control companies for the purpose of certifying that a structure is apparently free from several types of wood destroying organisms as a basis for transfer of real property. Such document shall carry a guarantee that, if an infestation of wood destroying organisms from which apparent freedom is certified, is found within ninety (90) days from date of issuance, the infested structure(s) shall be treated by the licensee, free of charge subject to the following:

(1) Subterranean Termites – Structures will receive a full minimum adequate treatment
pursuant to Paragraph 620-6-.04. However, if a structure has received a full minimum
adequate treatment within the past one (1) year, a partial treatment may be made to at
least 10 feet in either direction of any and all areas of termite infestation except as
defined in Rule 620-6-.07(5).

(2) Powder Post Beetles and Wood Boring Beetles – Structures will receive a minimum
adequate treatment pursuant to Paragraph 620-6-.04(3).

(3) Wood Decaying Fungi – Structures will receive a minimum adequate treatment pursuant
to Paragraph 620-6-.04(4).

(4) Dry Wood Termites – Structures will receive a minimum adequate treatment pursuant
to Paragraph 620-6-.04(5).

Note: If you contact one of the Georgia Pest Control Companies who are members of the Georgia Pest Control Association to have them install or protect your home from some type of termite infestation, they might just write a protection agreement for only one of the types of pest infestation above – so be careful to understand the coverage.

Georgia State Rules and Regulations for Pest Control companies.

GA Wood Infestation Guidelines – Chapter 620-6 as of 8-24-2017

Official Waiver – replaced Form II – Effective 9-1-2017, this Official Waiver form replaced the Form II outlining restrictions of the pest control company with respect to coverage and protection.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others. Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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IRS confusion over homebuyer tax credits – in 2010 and now?

According to some Federal Laws instituted during the 2008-2013 financial crisis run, there were two basic tax credits for first-time homebuyers to stimulate home purchases:

  1. First time homebuyers were offered a $7,500 (married) or $3,750 (single) “refundable” (meaning under certain situations it was to be paid back to the US Treasury in the form of $500/year lower income tax refund or increased payment due) tax credit or 10% of purchase price, whichever was lower. This applied to home purchases between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 (where a purchase contract was signed prior to April 9. 2008).

  2. Since the first home buyer stimulus wasn’t very effective in generating new home sales, another $8,000 (if married and $4,000 if single) “nonrefundable” (it didn’t have to be paid back to the US Treasury) tax credit was established that waived (eliminated any possibility of recapture or payback to the US government). This applied to home purchases between December 31, 2008 and December 1, 2009.

SNAFU!
Source: Treasury Identifies Confusion in IRS Handling of Homebuyer Tax Credits.

Do you think the IRS has improved since 2010?

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found in 2010 that the IRS did not have the ability to identify individuals who received a credit and later ceased using the home as their primary residence.

Do you think they do now?

Do you think they recovered all the false credit applications? No – I don’t either.

TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION Report in 2012 – During Tax Years 2006 through 2009, taxpayers claimed almost $470 billion in refundable credits. Due to post-refund examinations, taxpayers were required to repay more than an estimated erroneous refundable credits, the IRS plans to require them to repay more than an estimated $2.3 billion in erroneous credits. By the end of December 2011, the IRS had recovered an estimated $1.3 billion—-. While most of these weren’t for homebuyer tax credit, there were recommendations made in this report to require “proof of purchase” and not just taxpayer word.

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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Who’s going to prison or getting fined over real estate/mortgage crimes?

This BLOG post will be updated on an ongoing basis to update you on who’s paying for their behavior.  My guess is probably not enough people and not enough pain…

Public hanging or medieval stockades anyone?
(Does it seem like alot of little fish are caught, but not the big fish? Or the Big Fish got away with a smaller settlement than they should have?)

Note: The multi-Billion-$ settlements are starting to get there (like $7 Billion Citigroup and potential $13+ Billion Bank of America lawsuit still in progress) – but are they settlements for Countrywide and Washington Mutual crimes after US Government forced their acquisitions on Bank of America and J.P. Morgan?

Here’s an article outlining winners and losers from the mortgage meltdown – just to name a few:   http://www.8newsnow.com/story/16049641/foreclosure-crisis-the-winners-and-losers

Is anyone aware of the website to report Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) violations? http://www.stopfraud.gov/rmbs.html

Yes, 49/50 states settled the lawsuit against largest US banks (see AG settlement ), but $26 Billion against a $1 Trillion mortgage fiasco and nobody of significance is in jail?  Where are the derivative traders who failed in their Due Diligence responsibility? Or designers of CDOs who failed to disclose the real risks?

Update 3-10-2016: Big Banks Paid $110 Billion in Mortgage-Related Fines. Where Did the Money Go?

For up-to-date FBI actions to catch mortgage fraud is https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/mortgage-fraud

PRISON RELEASE NOTICE 8-31-2016: The Only Person Jailed for the Foreclosure Crisis Will Soon Go Free.

CUMULATIVE LIST OF CRIMES & STORIES

9-15-2017:

Real estate investor gets prison sentence in land fraud scheme

9-9-2017: Phoenix couple sentenced to prison in real estate fraud case – 2 ½-year prison terms and ordered them to forfeit 26 fraudulently purchases properties.

8-26-2017: Real estate guru helped set up system to bring outside investors into alleged fraud, witness testifies.

8-25-2017: U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman also ordered Boyd to pay total restitution in the amount of $383,375.43 and to serve a 3-year term of supervised release following his release from prison. .

8-21-2017:

A Florida man has been sentenced to 6 to 15 years in prison for his role in a real estate scam based out of Las Vegas (who knowingly and falsely represented that the titles to the properties were free and clear of any and all liens and other security interests) and was also ordered to pay full restitution of $757,420..

8-15-2017: Tucson loan officer-mortgage broker gets prison for fraud.

8-13-2017: Identity theft scheme leader gets 10-year prison sentence. Scumbag mortgage fraud scheme that stole nearly $1 million from various lenders.

7-21-2017: Former California Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty In Fraud Case and faces up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 fine…but what about restitution?

7-1-2017: Jury Convicts Real-Estate Company Bookkeeper of Embezzling .

6-21-2017: Eventually – jail time? Barclays charged with fraud in Qatar case

6-20-2017: State Supreme Court judge loses over $1M in real estate email scam. Well, somebody’s going to be sentenced by THIS judge…maybe!

6-4-2017: Three Northern California Real Estate Investors Convicted of Rigging Bids at Public Foreclosure Auctions. No sentences or restitution ordered at this time?

5-27-2017: Quad Cities (Illinois – go figure, another crook from Illinois) Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty to Investment Wire Fraud Scheme – sentencing to follow but ponzu scheme again and this turd faces a lot of jail time, but not sure about restitution.

5-10-2017: Massachusetts Real Estate Mogul Gets Prison for Fraud Scheme – will serve 4+ years in prison and is ordered to pay $9.5 million in restitution.

5-6-2017: Albany, Georgia man sentenced to prison. He filed false deeds on multiple Albany County properties that were either in bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. He then rented out or sold those properties, without permission from their rightful owners.

5-1-2017: Rip-Off Alert: Scammers target real estate flipping opportunities – Criminal purchased properties and then resell them within a few months for a greatly increased profit…How?… Because of false information supplied by the appraiser accomplice. Appraiser would inflate the values of the properties so that they would look more appealing to the banks to approve the loans.

4-27-2014: Former Hazleton, PA real estate agent accused of bilking thousands through bogus property sales and will face up to 10 years in prison and pay $250K in restitution.

4-26-2017: California woman convicted of real estate fraud and may face 6+ years in prison. Even after a 4 year foreclosure process, she claimed the home was still hers and made the new owners go to court over it.

4-25-2017: Fraudulent real estate deals totaling $1 million land New York lawyer in jail for 11 to 22 years.

4-22-2017: Disbarred lawyer sentenced to up to 22 years for masterminding real estate schemes. A jury found him guilty of preying on financially strapped Brooklyn homeowners by promising to help save their properties from foreclosure.

4-14-2017: Alabama Real Estate Investor Sentenced for Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions and only faces 12 months in prison and to pay $340K+ in restitution.

4-5-2017: Lenders That Failed To Meet Requirements for Annual Recertification of HUD/FHA Approval and I. Civil Money Penalties, Withdrawals of FHA Approval, Suspensions, Probations, Reprimands, and Administrative Payments. Note: Did LGE Credit Union lose it’s HUD/FHA loan ability for 1 year?

4-1-2017: South Florida man collected more than $380,000 in rental income from vacant houses didn’t own over about a two-year period. Also, a former Deputy was involved. But even though 1 years in prison, no mention of restitution.

3-31-2017: Attonmey guilty of fraud – sold the properties to straw buyers created with stolen identities of Puerto Rico residents. Using the stolen identities and other bogus documents, the defendants applied for and received loans.

3-30-2017: Former real estate agent sentenced to 10 years in prison. No report of restitution.

3-18-2017: How long do you wait until justice is served? The case against Lamphere dates back more than decade when the defendant defrauded two men out of more than a combined $1.3 million in a real estate scheme involving property in Oroville – California.

3-9-2017: Former New Jersey lawyer sentenced to 4 years in prison for his role in a $40+ million mortgage scheme based on fraudulent applications. But only pays back $13 of the $40 million – what?

2-24-2017: Real estate lawyer (scumbag) pleads guilty in $15M North York condo scam and is sentenced to 3.5 years probation? Nothing about restitution? Oh, that’s not fair…

2-18-2017: California man sentenced to year in jail, 5 year probation, and to pay $100,00 in restitution in foreclosure fraud case.

2-9-2017: Cobb County, Georgia con man gets prison time and ordered to pay $500,00 in restitution for Kentucky apartment management scam. Maybe he can learn a “new” way of lifting weights behind bars.

2-7-2017: Louisville man (who had also committed the same fraud in Tennessee) sentenced (less than 2 years) for real estate embezzlement and fraud, then ordered to pay $520K in restitution to property owners.

1-26-2017: City Island (in New York) Man Sentenced in Real Estate Scam. Will serve jail time and pay restitution.

1-13-2017: Former real estate agent sentenced to jail for embezzlement. Scumbag wrote > $160,000 in checks to vendors an cashed them into her account. I think there should have been better checks and balances and the employer trusted the employee a little too much.

12-24-2016: St. Louis County man gets probation and must pay more restitution than $50,000 real estate fraud for asking for premium and picketing it.

12-24-2016: Real estate business owner sentenced to 3 years probation and to pay <$100,000 restitution for $5 million mail and mortgage fraud. No, it’s not Donald Trump. Sorry to disappoint the liberals.

12-24-2016: US Justice Department reaches $7.2B settlement with Deutsche Bank over the bank’s role in the pre-crisis sale of mortgage securities. On a separate note, the Justice Department sued Barclays over $30B in pre-crisis residential mortgage backed securities) while deceiving investors about the characteristics/quality of the loans.

12-6-2016: California man (and other accomplices) pleads guilty to real-estate fraud and will serve some jail time and pay some restitution.

11-17-2016: 59 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty to foreclosure bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions.

11-11-2016: Real estate fraud ‘mastermind’ sentenced to 24 years in jail and ordered to pay about $1 million in restuitution.

11-10-2016: California investor gets 6 years in prison for real estate fraud.

11-3-2016: Two realtors busted over fraud on short sales of relatives homes.

10-12-2016: Real estate agent who scammed a family and four banks out of about $750,000 was sentenced Tuesday to more than six months in jail.

9-30-2016: Fraud squad: Sacramento County DA unit prosecutes real estate crimes—slowly. One scumbag was prosecuted and sentenced for up to 30 years in state prison for fraudulently scamming people out of their homes while in mortgage trouble…nice guy huh?

8-31-2016: Real estate agent reportedly lets in jewel thieves during open house; $150,000 in loot stolen.

8-30-2016: Real estate broker’s license suspended… Real estate agent pleaded guilty to felony theft and forgery and was sentenced to 8 1/2 years of probation.

8-26-2016: Former Brisbane real estate agent jailed over $1.6m fraud of clients’ money.

6-21-2016: Who’s not going to jail over the mid 2000’s mortgage meltdown financial crisis? Angelo Mozilo – any question now that the US Justice Department doesn’t want to go after turnips if they don’t have money?

5-30-2016: Arizona real estate attorney commits mortgage lien fraud and steals over $33 million doing it….in California. The attorney filed bogus lien releases so new bogus mortgages were generated to take their places. Not sure about prison time, but restitution is definitely happening.

5-26-2016: Indiana scam artist ripped off financially strapped people promising they won’t lose their homes – then took their money. He will face 6+ years in prison and forced restitution.

5-17-2016: Baltimore Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty In $736,000 Mortgage Fraud Scheme Involving Baltimore City Properties and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud and for wire fraud.

5-11-2016: Massechussetts Cambridge real estate developer gets 2 years behind bars for insider trading on bank stock.

5-11-2016: Woman gets 4 years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution of $450,000 she scammed from friends…Hey, with friends like these, who needs a realtor?

4-20-2016: Goldman Sachs to pay $5 billion in U.S. Justice Dept mortgage bond pact which includes funds for homeowners (to reduce their) mortgages that exceed the value of their property (as Fannie Mae and Feddie Mac have now proposed on over 33,000 underwater mortgages).

4-20-2016: Real Estate Developer Bank Fraud. Illinois real estate developer commits $4 million fraud and to serve prison time and to pay gradual restitution.

4-15-2016: Attorney sentenced to 3 years in prison and ordered to pay back almost $2 million stolen from an HOA escrow account. I bet THAT wasn’t part of the HOAs CCRs!

4-10-2016: Former real estate associate convicted of mortgage fraud and senteced to almost 5 years in federal prison. I need more details, but apparently he diverted sales incentives he would receive, to these other buyers as private loans for the down payments to get Wells Fargo mortgage to close on condos so he got the commissions on properties that eventually foreclosed (for some reason whether directly or indirectly related to these transactions?). Not sure if they were actual Buyers that couldn’t afford to make the payments and exactly how Wells Fargo was hurt by the direct actions of this real estate sales associate (who apparently was a licensed agent?).

4-8-2016:
Former Indy Realtor convicted in real estate scam
by taking advantage of people in foreclosure or late payment situations. I wonder what this slime-bag’s punishment will be?

3-31-2016: California creep sentenced to year in jail and ordered to pay restitution for “elder” real estate fraud. Maybe this guy could be taken to the nearest Piccadilly for lunch and seniors could force him to listen to all complaints and eat their leftovers for 6 months.

3-22-2016: Two real estate brokers (California & Louisina) get prison time and are ordered to >$5 million in restitution for scheme involving fraudulent dismissal of mortgages on underwater properties over $1 million in the San Diego area.

3-21-2016: CFPB Wins $173M Illegal Debt Relief Scheme Case. 132.8 million is ordered as restitution and the remaining $40 million comes via civil penalty.

3-10-2016: Edgewood real estate agent sentenced on embezzlement charges. Restitution of about $400,000 and 5 years in jail…not exactly penalty that Jim Croce had (20 long years in jail)…

3-3-2016: Real estate agent to admit fraud in helping Trustee ‘ghost employee’. Plea deals and reduced restitution? (Something about blood out of a turnip…)

3-2-2016: Chicago real estate developer convicted of fraud – sentencing and any erstitution is to be decided later in March 2016.

3-1-2016: Fuzzy Math? $169 million stolen – $9 million restitution – 14 years in prison… call it even!Former California real estate tycoon gets prison and ordered to pay restitution.

2-25-2016: Chicago Real Estate Developer Convicted on Federal Fraud Charges for Swindling Banks and the City out of Millions of Dollars in Loans. No sentencing yet and no word on any restitution.

2-24-2016: California woman found guilty in real estate fraud case that cost $662,000 in losses. he faces up to 10 years in prison and unknown if there’s any restitution.

1-29-2016: This story of a real estate fraud hasn’t yet resulted in jail for anyone, but it’s worth a shout out to warn closing atttorney’s to get proper verification from people receiving closing funds.

12-16-2015: Nashville closing attorneycharged with $2 million mortgage escrow wire-fraud scheme – facing up to 20 years in prison and paying up to $250,000 fine.

12-9-2015: Indianapolis real-estate developer pleads guilty to fraud to $340,000 in restitution and 2-8 years in jail.

11-11-2015: Well, we don’t know if this Massechussetts closing attorney will pay restitution or go to jail, but he did commit mortgage fraud regarding short sales transactions.

11-3-2015: Dunstable real-estate attorney guilty of fraud involving short sales and could face 30 years in prison and pay some form of restitution – jury still out on that one…

10-31-2015: Former real estate president sentenced to 5 years in prison, ordered to pay full restitution and should be assigned to the worst VA Hospital in the country for his deplorale behavior as a US military Veteran

10-13-2015: Four real estate brokers agree to pay estitution totaling more than $50 million and will serve 3-15 year prison sentences.

10-2-2015: Two georgia creeps run Ponzi scheme but will get prison time (years) and have to pay restitution

9-24-2015: 20 years for $20 million real estate fraud?

9-23-2015: Aloha criminals – 2 of 3 scamsters get jail time and some planned restitution.

9-21-2015: Newman man gets 4 years in prison for real estate scam and was ordered to pay “full” restitution.

9-18-2015: Federal appeals court affirms Regina Prettorius’ convictions in real estate scam – Guess who’s staying in prison for 23 years?

9-7-2015: No sentencing yet, but this is how some carry out fraud – to buy property under different names of trusts.

9-7-2015: Prosecutors said Million tricked an 86-year-old woman, Kathryn Rowe, into selling her property, but then funneled more than $30,000 in rent collected from that property while never closing the deal will get community service and not pay restitution?

9-3-2015: 3 real estate giants plead guilty to $36M affordable housing scheme – Prison sentencing and restitution in question at this time.

8-4-2015: Ex-real estate agent Depue guilty in $24 million mortgage fraud faces over 20 years in prison.

7-28-2015: Former Portland real estate developer pleads guilty to bank fraud and should serve jail time and pay some of the $7 million bank rip off in restitution.

7-27-2015: California man sentenced to over 5 years and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution

7-24-2015: …This one is just worth mentioning for the fun of it….
York real estate broker serving 4 years in federal prison for drug smuggling.

7-16-2015: Chicago area receives light jail sentence and must pay restitution for mortgage fraud scheme.

7-9-2015: Miami real estate developers sentenced to various prison times and ordered to pay about $21 million of the $27.8 million in restitution for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme involving straw buyers.

7-7-2015: Phoenix man gets 6 years in prison in real estate scam

7-3-2015: California real estate developer sentenced to 14 years in prison after letting investors put millions of dollars into bogus development projects

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3148001/Citizen-Year-bilked-hundreds-life-savings-bogus-real-estate-projects-sentenced-14-years-prison.html#ixzz3er46m9Io
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

6-29-2015: Former real estate dealer pleads guilty to massive fraud scheme

5-20-2015: Former real-estate title agent sentenced to >6 years in federal prison and must pay $2 million in restitution in mortgage scam involving several loans totaling almost $4 million.

5-7-2015: Former California brokerage CEO pleads guilty in $4 million real estate scam and faces up to 70 years in prison.

4-26-2015: Father, son real estate investors get prison time and ordered to pay >$250,000 in restitution for scheme targeting seniors.

4-23-2015: Walnut Creek man sentenced to prison for real estate fraud scheme – 4 years in prison and almost $22 million in restitution.

4-16-2015: Disbarred lawyer admits to $1.5 million real-estate proceeds swindle…sentencing in Brooklyn is scheduled for Aug. 5

4-15-2015: Illinois man is sentenced for 4 years and is to pay $1.7 million in real estate fraud scheme over 20 people.

3-22-2015: San Francisco Bay Area Woman Sentenced to Prison (no, not death) and pay restitution for Real Estate Loan Fraud Scheme

3-15-2015: St. Louis-area man sentenced to > 5 years prison and no discussion of restitution for real-estate mortgage fraud.

3-5-2015: Phoenix real-estate guru gets 4-year prison sentence for money laundering and tax evasion.

2-22-2015: Former real estate lawyer convicted of fraud and is to serve 6 years in prison and pay about $2.3 million in restitution.

2-16-2015: An Iowa attorney and a real estate agent convicted of $400K bank fraud involving selling short sales below marklet and then reselling to investors for a uick profit.

2-13-2015: Real estate attorney gets 70 months in prison for using escrow $ for investments in her own portfolio and is to pay over $2.3 million in restitution.

2-4-2015: Las Vegas woman is guilty of real estate fraud to partially pay off restitution on another charge. She agreed to pay $1,350,000 in restitution in this case but, will she perform another fraud to help pay off this one? Hey, at least she was trying to pay her debts to society…but with someone else’s money!

1-30-2015: Man sentenced to anywhere from 21 to 63 years in prison for a $3 million real estate Ponzi scheme for a tract of farmland in North Carolina…no word on any restitution amount.

1-28-2015: Vegas gambler craps out and goes to prison – Man gets 6 to 20 years for Reno real estate investment and mortgage fraud and is to pay about $240,000 in restitution.

1-23-2015: U.S. fines Wells Fargo and JP Morgan almost $36 million (chump change – and borrowers and taxpayers were the chumps and got no change) over illegal kickbacks to loan officers from Genuine Title (no longer in business) for crappy loans.

1-22-2015: Texas real estate investor sentenced to 3 years in prison and to pay >$430,000 in restitution.

1-22-2015: Former New Jersey owner of a real estate title agency admitted yesterday to carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme involving over $3.5 million. Sentencing (up to 20 years & $250,000 fine is possible) but no word yet on restitution.

1-21-2015: Fort Lauderdale real estate broker sentenced to >3 years in prison & pay about $4 million on a $5M real estate investment fraud and charged with lying on his citizen application.

1-19-2015: Real estate title agent admits to $3.7 million mortgage fraud, faces up to 20 years in prison, but no word on restitution.

1-12-1015: A former New York real estate agent gets 2-7 years in prison and ordered to pay >$550,000 in restitution for $1 million fraud that setup fake mortgage companies to receive 2nd or 3rd refinance mortgage payments into fraudsters accounts.

12-26-2014: Well, this is a reverse of my normal post, but still about a crook all the same. A Federal Appeals Court ordered the release of a jailed real estate mogul. Creditors are after him and his wife’s assets for about a quarter Billion $.

12-9-2014: The show-me-state produces a two time loser – a Kansas City man who went to jail for a mortgage scam, coordinated the same same while in jail through his son, and now is returning to be judged again for another similar crime. Source: http://kansasfirstnews.com/2014/12/02/man-arrested-again-in-fraudulent-real-estate-scam/

12-6-2014: Colorado flipping scam resulted in man being sentenced to 20 years in prison and paying $12 million in restitution to investors. Source: http://www.news4jax.com/news/lies-led-to-millions-lost-in-real-estate-scam/30074134

12-5-2014: To more Florida men were sentenced to 20 years in prison for accomplices in a straw buyer mortgage fraud scheme. Restitution will be decided in February. Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/two-tampa-bay-men-sentenced-to-20-years-in-nc-real-estate-fraud-case/2209042

11-16-2014: Ex developer from Arizona gets 10 year prison sentence (and may sell 90 acres as a pittance toward restitution) for ripping off $50 million from investors in a real estate fraud scheme. Source: http://www.yumasun.com/news/ex-developer-holcom-gets-prison-time-in-fraud-case/article_db8d3e16-6d17-11e4-af61-5b8dbf25a4fe.html

11-11-2014: California real estate developer gets 10 years in prison for swindling people out of $50 Million for fraudulent real estate development scheme but no word on any restitution.

10-29-2014: Judge sentences 8 real estate “professionals” to prison and to pay $10 million in restitution for mortgage fraud involving “straw buyers”.

10-23-2014: California man was sentenced to 7 years in prison (and no reported restitution) for committing $16 Million in real estate fraud thru false stolen identities of “straw buyers”…legitimate funds were channeled from unaware lenders to fake sellers and fake lenders to pay off fake loans? Who was the fake attorney who perpetrated these crimes?

10-15-2014: Ohio real estate investor scams many out of $1 million by creating fraudulent property deeds using forged signatures and is to serve 4 years of prison time…News on restitution coming soon.

10-7-2014: The CFPB fined Flagstar Bancorp $37.5 million ($10 million in and $27.5 million in refunds to 6,500 consumers) regarding allegations they blocked home owners from getting help to refinance their mortgages when they were facing foreclosure.

10-4-2014: Real New Jersey Housewife and real husband will serve real time for real mortgage fraud crimes – really!

10-3-2014: Utah and Georgia creeps get sentenced to prison and ordered to pay about $6.5 million in restitution over Ponzi scheme involving fake investments and mortgages.

10-1-2014: California couple are guilty of defrauding banks by recruiting straw buyers for mortgage fraud scheme with a mortgage broker and will serve prison time, but I am not sure if any restitution will be involved once the former mortgage broker is sentenced.

9-26-2014: Las Vegas dude who used family and friends as “straw buyers” to skim mortgage money gets >4 years in prison, has to pay $1.3M of the $2.6M stolen in restitution, and court says “he ain’t nuts”!

9-16-2014: Utah real estate fraud perpetrated by an Atlanta scumbag result in >6 years prison sentence and $8 million in restitution

9-15-2014: Former real estate attorney embezzled >$900,000 and will serve 16 years in prison and pay the $900,000 back in restitution

8-24-2014: Goldman to Buy $3.15 Billion of Debt to End FHFA Claims http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-22/goldman-to-buy-mortgage-debt-for-3-15-billion-to-end-fhfa-probe.html

8-20-2014: Missouri woman gets >6 years in prison and has to pay $2.5 million in restitution for wire fraud on unsuspecting investors of supposedly foreclosed properties. Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2014/08/19/st-charles-woman-gets-prison-in-real-estate-scheme.html

8-15-2014: The CFPB ordered Amerisave, it’s affiliate Novo Appraisal Management, and its owner to pay $19.3 million ($14.8 to harmed consumers and $4.5 as penalty) for a bait-and-switch mortgage lending scheme that stated one rate but the consumer got another rate with hefty fees and other charges. Source: ABC, August 15-21, 2014, 11A.

8-9-2014: Ok, Big Fish – Big Net – Big Deal? Any big wheels lose their job or shot for their behavior causing any of this mess? … So who’s gonna pay up to the potential $17 Billion Justice Department – Bank of America settlement (supposedly more than half goes to the government and remainder for consumer relief by educing mortgage balances of struggling homeowners) – the bank’s customers and stockholders…not the bank itself. And let’s not forget the additional $6 Billion potential settlement with the FHFA. WSJ, 8-7-14, A1.

8-9-2014 Update: Rebecca Mairone was fined $1 million (under CountryWide’s quantity v. quality “Husle” program where loans were quickly moved through the loan process before adequate review could be made) and is appealing the fine. WSJ, 7-31-14, C1.

Previous post: (3-20-2014: Former Countrywide and Bank of America executive Rebecca Mairone was involved with a loan processing program (called the Hustle – to expedite loans to sell to Fannie Mae an Freddie Mac knowing they satisfy criteria that was going to be changed and only had a limited window of time to sell them to the GSEs) at Countrywide and is now subject to being charged up to $1.6 Million in fines/penalties. Bank of America may be charged another $2.1 million in penalties for profiting from such a program after their purchase of Countrywide assets and who didn’t halt the program at acquisition. WSJ, 3-14-2014,C2)

8-1-2014: Ex New York cop goes to prison for >5 years for real estate development fraud and sentenced to pay >$4.5 million. Source: http://www.westport-news.com/news/crime/article/Ex-NYPD-officer-sentenced-to-58-months-in-prison-5662972.php

7-26-2014: The conviction of former Las Vegas real estate agent who committed $10 million mortgage fraud was upheld by US 9th Circuit Court of appeals. Source: http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/jul/22/las-vegas-real-estate-agents-conviction-upheld/

7-26-2014: Texas Turd fraudulently gets someone to pose for mother to get loan on mom’s house…did I mention he is a disbarred attorney? Creep! Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/St-Charles-lawyer-pleads-guilty-to-federal-fraud-5646734.php

7-4-2014: Throw the “Book of Mormon” at this guy! Utah man sentenced to 15 years and has to pay >$2 million in restitution for real estate related fraud. Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865606207/Utah-County-man-going-to-prison-for-real-estate-fraud.html?pg=all

7-25-2014: Awww – sucks for you! 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with conviction of former Las Vegas real estate agent for a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. She was ordered to almost 6 years in jail and to pay about $4 million in restitution. Source: http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/jul/22/las-vegas-real-estate-agents-conviction-upheld/

7-3-2014: Show me ‘da money! Some slimeball in the “Show Me” state of Missouri scammed people out of their money pretending to finance their loans and get almost 3 years in prison and has to pay back > $335,000. Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-felon-sentenced-again-for-fraud/article_b1c87824-02cd-5d8a-b4ac-e343201af7bd.html

6-25-2014: What a deal – Steal $20 million and ….California – former real estate agent gets 20 years (may only serve8 for time already served??) and has to pay $6.4 million in restitution for ponzi real estate scheme. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140623/articles/140629823

6-20-2014: Yankee appraiser gets jail time falsifying appraisal values – Hey, I thought people from up North never make mistakes from the way they badger those of us here in the South! http://wivb.com/2014/06/19/real-estate-appraiser-admits-inflating-property-values/

6-17-2014: PRISON TIME IN FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCHEME
The owner of foreclosure rescue businesses, US Mortgage Bailout, USMortgageBailout.com, and iLoanAudit, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 60 months incarceration and 3 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1.4 million following guilty pleas to mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud. The owner ran a multiyear scheme to collect money from thousands of distressed borrowers by promising to provide loan modifications. The companies’ Web sites claimed to be “an experienced legal team made up of attorneys and paralegals to handle all of the negotiations with your current lender,” which had “helped thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure” and boasted a 97 percent success rate, when no foreclosure rescue assistance was provided. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG. (South Bend, IN)
SOVEREIGN CITIZEN INCARCERATED FOR FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCHEME
A member of the sovereign citizen movement was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 30 months incarceration and 5 years probation after pleading guilty to passing fictitious obligations to homeowners in a debt elimination scheme that left homeowners in foreclosure. From February 2009 through June 2012, the sovereign citizen and her father, who was found guilty of 13 felony counts, preyed on struggling homeowners by defrauding them of thousands of dollars and promising to access a “secret” stash of Federal money for use in eliminating their debt, while instructing them to stop payments on their mortgages and other debt. In exchange for eliminating their debt, the homeowners were required to join their sovereign citizen program. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). (Hartford, CT)
FORMER MORTGAGE COMPANY MANAGER SENTENCED TO PRISON
A former assistant manager of a mortgage origination company called Madison Funding was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 16 months incarceration for conspiracy, false statements to HUD to obtain FHA insurance, and aiding and abetting. Between October 2006 and at least June 2008, the assistant manager submitted loan applications, which contained false information about the borrowers and were often supported by falsified, forged, and altered documents. Each funded loan generated thousands of dollars in commissions to Madison Funding and its employees. Eight of the properties involved in this scheme were FHA-insured mortgages totaling approximately $1.1 million, with losses to FHA totaling more than $111,000. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation OIG, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) OIG. (Allentown, PA)
CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OWNERS SENTENCED IN FLIPPING SCHEME
The owners of two construction companies pled guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy and wire fraud and were sentenced to 18 months incarceration and 3 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of more than $1.2 million, with $566,684 payable to HUD. Between March 2008 and February 2010, the owners recruited straw buyers to purchase properties at inflated prices and submitted fraudulent bank statements, IRS Forms W-2, pay stubs, and tax returns to lenders in support of loan applications for more than $837,000 in mortgage loans. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), FHFA OIG, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. (Trenton, NJ)
LOAN MODIFICATION COMPANY OWNER SENTENCED FOR HAMP FRAUD
The owner of a mortgage loan modification telemarking business was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 1 month incarceration and 3 years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $121,400 to victimized homeowners after pleading guilty to mail fraud and aiding and abetting. Between 2009 and 2011, the owner solicited distressed homeowners, claiming that his telemarketing business was affiliated with HUD and could provide assistance through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) for a fee.
The owner then collected fees from an estimated 124 distressed homeowners but did not attempt to help the homeowners avoid foreclosure. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG. (San Diego, CA)
REALTORS AND MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICER IMPRISONED FOR FRAUD
Two realtors and a mortgage loan officer were sentenced in U.S. District Court after earlier guilty pleas to conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering. The two realtors were sentenced to 48 months and 18 months, respectively, and 3 years supervised release. The mortgage loan officer was sentenced to 36 months incarceration and 3 years supervised release. From 2001 to August 2011, these ndividuals acquired more than 40 properties and then recruited buyers to purchase the properties at inflated prices. The three acted as the buyers’ real estate agents, prepared loan applications with false information for the borrowers, created false documents in support of those applications, and then processed those applications for mortgage loans through the loan officer. Many of those mortgages resulted in foreclosure, and losses to FHA are expected to reach $3.7 million. This investigation was conducted by HUD OIG, IRS-CI, the FBI, and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. (Hartford, CT)

Source: http://www.hudoig.gov/sites/default/files/documents/SAR71.pdf

6-1-2014: Two Pennsylvania men (including one real estate agent) scheme to defraud bank and investors out of money to buy Jiffy Lube and other automotive businesses to serve 5 years in jail and pay $2.4 million in restitution for almost $20 million in theft. Source: http://www.eveningsun.com/crime/ci_25864747/real-estate-agent-who-conspired-hanover-man-sentenced

5-31-2014: Former Indian real estate agent found guilty of defrauding bank for falsified repairs – must serve jail time and pay $200,000 in fines. http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/gary-woman-sentenced-in-housing-scheme/article_3361cc33-0934-5996-9433-59ce24842430.html

5-14-2014: You can’t teach an old Maryland real estate developer dog new tricks – and he only going to serve 2 yearshttp://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/Developer-sentenced-to-2-years-in-bribery-scheme-5474576.php.

5-1-2014: Washington hard money lender to get some hard-time and to pay restitution.

4-30-2014: Another California real estate broker gets 13+ years in prison for a fraudulent “rent-to-own” scheme.

4-29-2014: California real estate agent guilty of mortgage fraud and is awaiting sentencing and penalties or restitution.

4-13-2014: San Diego real estate agent & his wife (a loan officer) sentenced to >3 years in a >$10 million mortgage fraud scheme. Not sure about restitution….

4-10-2014: Forma “Bawston” aw-torney gets convicted of defr”aw”din’ lenders – gets jail time and rest”aw”tution. Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2014/04/09/former-boston-attorney-sentenced-in-mortgage-fraud.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+vertical_2+(Commercial+Banking+Industry+News)

3-28-2014: California real estate agent and his loan officer thug wife were just convicted and sentenced to about 3.5 years in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in more than $10 million in bank losses and many foreclosures. A restitution hearing is to be held in May of this year. Source: http://www.westport-news.com/news/crime/article/San-Diego-real-estate-couple-gets-prison-for-fraud-5355894.php

3-26-2014: California scumbag real estate broker convicted of Ponzi scheme related to “rent-to-own” scam – be careful out there! Source: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/24/6265155/real-estate-broker-convicted-of.html

3-25-2014: Another California scumbag gets prison time in the Crisp & Cole mortgage fraud case reported in the 2-25-2014 post below. Source: http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Defendant-in-Crisp-and-Cole-real-estate-fraud-case-gets-78-months-in-prison-252037621.html

3-24-2014: Former Florida real estate broker Greg Eagle is to pay $19 Million in restitution for $17 Million real estate bank loan fraud. See my 2-8-2014 post below about his jail term. Source: http://www.news-press.com/article/20140324/BUSINESS/303240015/Greg-Eagle-pay-19-4M-restitution?nclick_check=1

3-8-2014: Philadelphia real estate developer to serve 8 years in prison for defrauding 2 banks out of $13 million, of which he is also ordered to pay restitution (making license plates?)…Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2014/03/07/developer-given-eight-years-in-prison.html?page=all

2-25-2014: California real estate creep gets 17+ years in prison and is supposed to pay $28 million in restitution. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Carl-Cole-sentenced-to-more-than-17-years-in-real-estate-fraud-case-246924941.html

2-26-2014: A real joisee “Tony Soprano” like wise guy type to pay restitution and serve jail time – “yuse guys never lurn, does ya’?” http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/02/23/real-estate-consultant-sentenced-fraud-scheme/9vDT3m37vFH8hkC7UV1pMO/story.html

2-8-2014: Former Florida real estate broker scumbag report to prison to serve 6 year prison term (no restitution?) and blames Wells Fargo and others on failure to loan $38 million in New York lawsuit. Source: http://www.news-press.com/article/20140208/BUSINESS/302080017/Cape-Coral-real-estate-broker-Greg-Eagle-reports-prison?nclick_check=1

1-25-2014: New York attorney disbarred, to serve 3-10 years in prison, and ordered to pay >$4.3 Million in restitution to victims of fraudulent real estate transactions. Source: http://www.longisland.com/news/01-24-14/attorney-sentenced-for-stealing-more-than-43-million-from-clients.html

1-24-2014: Real estate broker didn’t commit mortgage fraud, but I found it disgusting enough to mention here – The North Carolina real estate broker lost their brokerage license by not disclosing his brokerage represented both the Buyers and Sellers in the same transaction (i.e., Dual Agency) and bought properties at discounted lower prices and resold them at higher prices. Source: http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-news/state-board-suspends-graham-real-estate-agent-s-license-1.266859

1-18-2014: Former North Carolina real estate developer gets 27 years in prison and to pay $12 Million in restitution for federal bank & wire fraud. Source: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/33ac27d0b8644570bb6f0c0398388711/NC–Property-Investor-Sentenced/

1-18-2014: New Jersey wise guy (not Gov Christie but a settlement company owner) agrees to pay full $5+ million in restitution and spend 10 years in prison. Source” http://www.westport-news.com/news/crime/article/Man-sentenced-for-stealing-mortgage-loan-money-5134122.php

1-15-2014: Former Arizona politician to spend 6 months in jail and pay up to $150K in restitution for real estate fraud. Source: http://www.trivalleycentral.com/coolidge_examiner/news/curry-to-serve-jail-time-under-plea-deal/article_8d996450-7d6c-11e3-b5ce-0019bb2963f4.html

1-10-2014: Two South Carolina mortgage fraud real estate criminals getting sentenced to < 2 years jail time and supposed pay about $1 Million in restitution over the next 30 years. Source: http://www.mortgagedaily.com/Fraud/MctLemons011014.asp

Update 1-8-2014: Florida real estate broker was sentenced 6 years in prison & pay $600 for fraudulently borrowing $17 million from bank based on real estate owned by someone else. Source: http://www.news-press.com/article/20140103/CRIME/140103012/Cape-Coral-real-estate-broker-Greg-Eagle-sentenced-today?nclick_check=1

1-7-2014: A group of California criminals fraudulently generated about $20 Million of profit with straw buyers of $100 Million in mortgage loans – some get Federal custody but nobody was executed. Source: http://www.sandiego6.com/story/real-estate-agent-sentenced-for-fraud-scheme-20140103

12-26-2013: California Dreamin’ scheme wound up to be $21 Million real estate scam nightmare – sentencing to follow this spring 2014. Source: http://www.westport-news.com/news/crime/article/2-men-convicted-in-21M-real-estate-fraud-scheme-5091917.php

12-20-2013: Texas real estate agent convicted of money laundering for a drug cartel – can you say Source: “dishonest earnest money”?

12-9-2013: Former Chicago police officer commits mortgage fraud with lender to scam $650,000 from bank. It figures something like this would happen in such a crime free place as Chicago – land of Obama! Source: http://news.gnom.es/news/former-chicago-cop-pleads-guilty-in-mortgage-fraud-scheme

11-27-2013: Boston bean head attorney gets caught in mortgage fraud and faces 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 per each of the 13 cases. Source: http://citizensvoice.com/news/west-pittston-man-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-1.1592233

11-15-2013: Pardon me boys, is that the “Penn” itentiary mortgage fraud Choo-choo? No, Pennsylvania attorney convicted on mortgage fraud and faces 20 years in prison and alot $3 Million in fines. Source: http://jamaicaplain.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/lawyer-pleads-guilty-to-charges-stemming-from-real-estate-fraud-in-jp

11-15-2013: Pose as an attorney to scam people out of >$3 Million, pay full restitution, and go to prison for 10 years – priceless!
Source: http://www.cbs8.com/story/23982203/man-sentenced-to-prison-in-real-estate-scam

11-13-13: Old California fart may spend >20 years in prison for $28 Million real estate fraud scheme – but will there be restitution? Not unless they put him to work making prison stuff and selling at prison bazaars. Source: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/man-pleads-guilty-5-million-arizona-real-estate-fraud-scheme

10-25-2013: Federal prosecutors are looking for $44 million restitution for convicted Detroit real estate fraudster. Source: Feds want $44.5M in restitution in Bravata case

10-23-2013: No jail or restitution yet (but in my backyard so I’ll watch this), but Penguin Properties LLC pleads guilty to auction bid rigging in Fulton County Georgia and charge with the same in DeKalb County. Source: http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/23759031/ga-real-estate-company-guilty-in-bid-rigging

10-21-2013: Arizona real estate investor is ordered to pay back $160K in fines to those he ripped off with fraudulent real estate investment notes. Source: http://www.arizona.statenews.net/index.php/sid/217870294/scat/085cec8e58ce1f5a

10-18-2013: New Mexico turds get prison and are to pay restitution and fines for wire fraud involving straw buyers for mortgages. Source: http://www.newschannel10.com/story/23722960/albuquerque-men-sentenced-to-prison-for-wire-fraud

10-10-2013: Well, if you really don’t like your mother in law, just dupe her into a real estate scheme, cheat her out of >$600,00, and spend 1-3 years in prison thinking of your next crime against her. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/da-mortgage-broker-sentenced-in-real-estate-scam-in-which-he-tricked-mother-in-law-1.6229525

10-8-2013: Sentencing & Penalties TBD—No jail time – yet, but Dekalb County Georgia Real Estate Agent pleads guilty to bid rigging at real estate auctions. Source: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-real-estate-agent-charged-bid-rigging/nbH28/

10-1-2013: Las Vegas mortgage fraud scumbag proves crime pays by stealing millions and just facing 20 years & $250K fine…she’ll be out in a few years on good behavior. Source: http://www.8newsnow.com/story/23552754/woman-convicted-in-mortgage-fraud-conspiracy

9-24-2013: Michigan real estate $40 Million investment fraudster gets 20 years in prison and no restitution? And how many of the “taken” clients were also greedy?http://www.gibsonsothebysrealty.com/blog/2013/09/23/real-estate-news-majority-of-americans-predict-further-price-increases/

9-23-2013: Two more North Carolina thugs get 5 years and $250K fines for real estate scheme. Source: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130923/APN/1309230784

9-14-2013: One day in prison and $500,000 in restitution for mortgage fraud – What a deal? Source: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2013/09/13/3707245/mortgage-fraud-plea-nets-former.html

9-11-2013: Former Oregon real estate broker/CPA gets prison and is to pay restitution for mortgage fraud and pleads “don’t jail me bro!” Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/Former-broker-sentenced-in-mortgage-fraud-scheme-4804080.php

9-10-2013: ok, you don’t need to go to the extent of committing suicide like Zachary Davidson did, but should first go on trial for real estate fraud and embezzlement, before you get hanged. Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/morning_call/2013/09/owners-of-landmark-condos-win-partial.html

9-9-2013: No jail time or fines yet, but this investor scumbag is one of many in San Francisco area who took part in mail fraud and conspiracy to rig auction bidding to capture profits later…Source: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/05/20346066-home-foreclosure-fraud-investigation-nets-36th-guilty-plea-federal-officials-say

8-28-2013: Maryland real estate agent committed mortgage fraud and is to serve jail time and pay $6 Million in restitution. http://www.gazette.net/article/20130828/NEWS/130829053/1029/bowie-realtor-sentenced-in-mortgage-fraud-scheme&template=gazette

8-27-2013:  Ok – this isn’t a real estate mortgage scam, but this creepy real estate agent stole appliances out of US Government owned foreclosures…public hanging or prison soup for you!?  http://www.shelbystar.com/news/local/feds-former-county-real-estate-agent-stole-sold-home-appliances-1.193522

8-27-2013: So you think the South is full of losers? Think again – This Massachusetts Real Estate Broker spent money in the escrow account on themselves – oops – 5 years prison time, restitution, and apology letters…Can you spell “Sincerely, Your Real Estate Agent from Pound you in the Butt Prison”..http://www.thesomervillenews.com/archives/41638

7-31-2013: Missouri man gets 5 years and is to pay restitution for using straw buyers to obtain mortgage $. http://www.westport-news.com/news/crime/article/Man-gets-5-years-in-real-estate-fraud-scheme-4698283.php

7-30-2013: Two Tennessee dudes sentenced to jail and pay restitution for mortgage fraud by submitting false buyers of foreclosures. They’ll be wearing Tennessee Orange jumpsuits pretty soon – just in time for college football season! http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/2-sentenced-for-scheme-involving-foreclosures-4693098.php

7-24-2013: Assorted mortgage and real estate crimes by people in California with various sentences and penalties…no be-headings though…http://www.modbee.com/2013/07/10/2802120/real-estate-fraud-head-hyre.html

7-23-2013: Former Pennsylvania real estate agent convicted of mortgage fraud sentenced to prison and to pay restitution. http://campbell.patch.com/groups/breaking-news/p/former-campbell-real-estate-agent-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison

7-20-2013: California scumbag gets 15 years and ordered to pay restitution for $2 million Ponzi scheme. http://www.mercurynews.com/milpitas/ci_23686140/real-estate-agent-convicted-ponzi-scam

7-12-2013: Another former California real estate agent faces jail and restitution for Ponzi mortgage loan fraud. http://campbell.patch.com/groups/breaking-news/p/former-campbell-real-estate-agent-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison

7-7-2013: Former California real estate agent sentenced to over 7 years and to pay full restitution – YES! http://echopark.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/real-estate-agent-who-targeted-elderly-residents-sentenced_045ca9f1

7-6-2013: The audacity of this Dover dope committing real estate fraud – only gets jail time and restitution. http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130704/NEWS03/130709667

6-30-2013: Arizona man to be sentenced to prison and fined in September 2013 for mortgage and wire fraud. http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Tucson-man-convicted-in-real-estate-fraud-scheme-4636183.php

6-27-2013: Former executive of Lender Processing Services (LPS) – DocX LLC, gets jail sentence for fraudulent robo signing. http://www.stopfraud.gov/iso/opa/stopfraud/2013/13-crm-711.html

6-23-2013: Tony Soprano and son get jail time and restitution for real estate fraud – “you’s guys are gunna pay” http://www.trentonian.com/article/20130621/NEWS01/130629922/father-and-son-real-estate-cheats-get-prison-time”

6-22-2013: Tennessee real estate broker faces 20 years in jail and $250,000 fine…looks like they’ll be in Tennessee volunteer road work orange jump suit soon. comes” the judge? Her husband and son are spending 3 year for related rent skimming. Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/24/woman-sentenced-illegal-real-estate-scheme/

9-25-2012: California fraudsters get varied sentences and are awaiting restitution decisions for defrauding investors out of $7-20 million. Source: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=26916

9-25-2012: Illinois man gets 11 years & ordered to pay >$7 million in restitution for $7 million fraud of investor regarding rehabs. Source: http://www.nwherald.com/2012/09/25/woodstock-man-gets-11-years-for-ponzi-real-estate-scheme/af5czd3/

9-18-2012: Louisiana man gets 2.5 year in prison & must pay another $789K restitution for $3+ million real estate scam on Texans – wahoo! Source: http://www.fox8live.com/story/19538445/louisiana-man-gets-prison-time-for-34m-real-estate-scam

9-13-12: Two Washington real estate investors perpetrate $13 million fraud using lax bank/mortgage standards. Source: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Real-estate-brokers-face-prison-in-4-million-3860907.php#page-2

9-10-12: New Mexico man get 12 years and agrees to pay >$38 million regarding real estate fraud. Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/09/06/49989.htm

9-3-2012: Minnesota real estate agent sentenced to 5 years in prison for involvement in $10 million mortgage fraud. Source: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_21445470/savage-real-estate-agent-gets-5-years-fraudulent.

8-30-2012: San Diego real estate agent sentenced to 4 years in jail for mortgage fraud hiding drug trafficker’s ownership of property. Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/29/sd-agent-sentenced-four-years/

8-27-2012: Las Vegas Developer pleads guilty to scam, possible 20 years in jail & $250,000 fine. Source: http://www.lvrj.com/news/developer-pleads-guilty-in-1-8-million-real-estate-scheme-167379495.html

8-22-2012:  Former West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser is sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud.  And in a related story, others were sentenced for 60 years or more in prison….but still are kept alive.  Source: http://www.wsaz.com/news/charlestonnews/headlines/Two_Utah_Men_Charged_by_Feds_in_Mortgage_Fraud_Scheme_Linked_to_Putnam_County_130322268.html

8-13-2012:  California man goes to prison for 5 years due to real estate scam of some elderly folks – so where’s the financial restitution to victims?  Prison only? He deserves more punishment.  Jail is just too good for this moron. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/crime/2012/08/convicted-scam-artist-nabs-prime-prison-real-estate

8-6-12: Like mother – like daughter? Both are going to jail for about 10 years for $16 million California mortgage scam. http://www.businessinsider.com/mother-and-daughters-will-go-to-jail-for-16-million-real-estate-scam-2012-8

7-21-2012: Former Pennsylvania real estate agent gets about 20 years in jail and was ordered to pay $2,470,666 in restitution for defrauding 36 homeowners out of $2,470,666.
Source: http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/Former-real-estate-agent-sentenced-to-jail-for/t13JpSjFnEGKYb2x-2PAjw.cspx

6-20-2012: show me the money…in the “show me” state! Missouri real estate agent to pay “partial” restitution and 18 month prison sentence for mortgage fraud. http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-former-real-estate-agent-goes-to-federal-prison-for-arranging-sham-mortgage-20120619,0,926661.story

5-16-2012:  California real estate agent guilty of mail and mortgage fraud.  Source: http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=21069

5-1-2012: Former Virginia Real Estate Realtor may go to jail for up to 20 years for a $7 million mortgage fraud scheme involving cash-out refinances. Source: http://www.leesburg2day.com/news/article_92b55646-92ff-11e1-9363-0019bb2963f4.html

4-28-2012: Alabama real estate investor pleads guilty to rigging real estate auction bidding and will serve 1 year jail sentence and may be fined. (My 1st question: Does this occur at other auctions? Secondly: How would you know?) Source: http://www.rttnews.com/1871166/an-alabama-real-estate-investor-plead-guilty-of-rigging-auctions.aspx?type=bn&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sitemap

4-27-2012: Former Iowa real estate broker to serve almost 5 years and pay $320K+ in fines for mortgage & mail fraud. Source: http://www.kgan.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kgan_vid_10916.shtml

4-23-2012: Former Florida real estate agent gets 3.5 years in prison for mortgage/mail fraud. Source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/ex-boca-real-estate-agent-sentenced-to-3-2320845.html

4-23-2012: Ex real estate agent in Pennsylvania gets almost 4 years for mortgage fraud. Source: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-north/ex-real-estate-agent-sentenced-to-nearly-four-years-for-fraud-632762/

4-6-2012: Connecticut real estate attorney gets 2+ years for real estate mortgage fraud. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Lawyer-gets-2-years-in-real-estate-scam-3461699.php

4-3-2012: Indiana man sentenced to prison and fined>$250K for defrauding mortgage lenders. Source: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/07/06/3203853/fort-worth-real-estate-agent-faked.html

3-21-2012: Virginia man pleads guilty and gets $250K fine and may serve 3-20 years for real estate investment fraud. Source: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2012/mar/21/david-silver-pleads-guilty-in-real-estate-investme-ar-1779889/

6-29-2011: Man sells houses that didn’t exist.  (Note:  To whom would you sell – people that didn’t exist?  And where was the due diligence of the Buyers?  I think there’s contributory negligence here – isn’t there always when stupid Buyers meet shifty sellers?)
Source:  http://alabama.realestaterama.com/2011/06/29/birmingham-man-faces-mortgage-fraud-charges-for-selling-houses-he-did-not-own-ID0124.html

6-24-2011: Real estate attorney charged with mortgage fraud – gets 3 years of supervised release. Source:  http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2011/06/23/kaplan_fraud/

6-21-2011: A former Colonial Bank executive was sentenced to eight (8) years in a federal prison related to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp fraud scheme.
Source:  http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2011/06/17/real-estate-news-by-the-numbers-week-of-june-11-june-17/

6-18-2011: A California real estate broker charged with mortgage fraud for inflated property values & inflated incomes of buyers, and other charges.  Also, two people were charged with a fraud scheme involving a financial firm promoting foreclosure rescue/prevention services. Source: http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_18298413

6-10-2011: I don’t know whether this former real estate agent will use the “one armed man” defense, but hey – what could it hurt? Source: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110609/BREAKING/110609559/2055/NEWS?Title=Fugitive-real-estate-agent-arrested-on-fraud-charges-

6-10-2011:  Anytime a Real Estate Agent breaks a bond of trust and tried to get away with a rime, all other honest agent cringe.  Yes there are dishonest agents, but far more are honest and hard working. Source:  http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2011/06/couple-pleads-n-1.html

6-10-2011:  Another Ponzi scheme for commercial properties in Florida – Is there also such a thing as “greedy” or “stupid” investors?  Contributory negligence of due diligence?  Source:  http://www.housingwire.com/2011/06/08/former-tv-host-charged-in-florida-real-estate-ponzi-scheme

5-29-2011:  Real estate agent (as President of an HOA), was accused in fraud scheme to sell 22 Condo units the HOA didn’t own or she didn’t have authorization to sell.  Source:  http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/pinellas/real_estate_fraud_arrest_clearwater052811

5-28-2011:  Three (3) Utah men were indicted with conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud using “straw buyers” (i.e., using real people’s information to falsely stage mortgage lending, getting false appraisals, etc,.) to get lender to provide the loan funds for closings that aren’t real.  Possible penalties are sentences, about $2 million in fines, and property.  Source:  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/51894227-79/meier-goff-false-prowell.html.csp

5-27-2011:  Two former California realtor “sister” fraudsters had paid people $5K to use their personal and financial information as “straw buyers” and promised to buy the homes back.  They only got less than 2 years jail time and $200K fines. (Note: Small fish in the sea, but fish nonetheless!)
Source:  http://california.realestaterama.com/2011/05/27/former-real-estate-professionals-sentenced-for-mortgage-fraud-scheme-in-vallejo-ID01148.html

http://rejournalonline.com/real-estate-scam-of-the-day-pennsylvania-appraiser-set-to-pay-up/853783/, a Pennsylvania appraiser was convicted of fraud and paid a $15K fine, but wasn’t sent to Federal prison like 5 others were.  Like the article questioned – tough enough sentence?

4-30-2011:  Co-founder of Omni National Bank (Jeffrey L. Levine) was fined $6.8 Million and sentenced to 5 years in Federal prison for involvement of inflating values of bank assets and mortgage fraud. (Atlanta Business Chronicle – 4-29 thru 5-5, page 13A).

4-22-2011:   Mortgage Loan Processors (mostly in major US banks) are getting regulatory actions, fines and penalties for sloppy foreclosure processing.  However, I haven’t heard the final count of the foreclosures that kicked people out of their homes while there were in loan modification processing.  5-10-20-100? Has there been any restitution for those folks? – http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04132011_mortgage_servicing.asp

4-8-2011:  Wives of WAMU accused of transferring assets to avoid access from legal claims…As of 3-15-2011, FDIC authorized suits to recover $3.5 B (wow, a far cry from the almost Trillion $ loss)!  Source:  WSJ, 3-18-2011, C1

3-15-2011:  Credit Suisse Group settled a securities class action lawsuit (about misleading some investors about their mortgage exposure by failing to write down some mortgage related securities) and will pay $70 million.  WSJ, 3-11-2011, C1 (Comment:  I wonder what the attorney’s cut is out of the $70 million and how much the plaintiffs will actually receive?  Probably not near the damage to investors?)

3-1-2011:  WSJ 2-25-11, C3 – Former executive with Taylor, Bean, Whitaker pleaded guilty regarding a $1.9 Billion scheme may result in 30 years of prison on charges executive’s falsified sales of mortgage loans. (Hey, I didn’t see any form of victim restitution….)

WSJ 2-24-2011, A1:  Possible settlement of $20 Billion and write downs of loans with large banks under Federal investigation over loan servicing issues like improperly foreclosing on borrowers and not providing sufficient help to restructure loans.  If the settlement isn’t reached with the Obama Administration, different Federal agencies could pursue other penalties.

MDJ -2-12-2011, 6B =  The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against three former IndyMac Bank executives by disclosing false and misleading reports about the financial stability of IndyMac Bank to investors just before it failed.  So far there’s only a $100K fine and $2K in restitution – a far cry from the millions of $ in stock that were sold without the alleged proper disclosure of the financial situation.

WSJ-10-16/17-2010=Angelo Mozilo (former Countrywide Financial Chief) has recently settled out of court by paying a $67.5 million fine stemming from insider trading of about $140 million in stock.  It was also reported that he has been banned from servicing as officer or director of a public company (but I guess that doesn’t prevent him from working for a private ‘investment’ firm – does it?) Oh, and alot of the fine will be paid by current employer – Bank of America —Priceless!

Earlier in 2010 Goldman Sachs settled a $550 million suit stemming from misleading investors in the sale of mortgage backed securities.

Note:  A 10-21-2010 WSJ Opinion column mentioned that $45 million of the $67 million fine will be paid by Bank of America insurers (via the Countrywide acquisition) and goes on to say the settlement won’t protect Mr. Mozilo from criminal charges.  Furthermore, Bank of America agreed to pay $9 Billion over Countrywide’s lending practices.

10-7-2010:  Wells Fargo agreed to pay $24 million and reduce the amount of mortgage loans by $400 million (by lowering balance, interest rate, extend term, or reduce monthly payment) after 8 states’ investigation of the marketing of risky mortgages by Wachovia and Golden West Financial Corp, both of which Wells Fargo acquired in 2006 and 2008, respectively.  Some of the risky

I don’t think anything short of a hanging or public execution would have been good enough.  To think, their “fast and easy” loans based solely on credit score were part of the problems tempting homebuyers to stretch their finances to get a crazy loan like this…even though the borrower is partially at fault, tempting a baby with candy will get the baby sick and you their money.

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) subpoenas 64  Mortgage Issuers

The FHFA oversees government backed mortgage companies and regulates 12 home loan banks that are major fund sources for hundreds of banks.

This inquiry centers on “private label” securities related to subprime, Alt-A, and other risky home loans.  Apparently, Fannie and Freddie couldn’t buy them directly but bought $255 billion in slices of those with Triple A ratings – but were basically crap.  Freddie has almost $30 billion of the $100 billion of subprime and Alt-A loans went bad.  Fannie had $16 billion of $44 billion go bad.

The investigation will focus on whether these “bundles” of loans were sold under false pretences or mistakes, Fannie and Freddie could force the lenders to buy them back.

Maybe one possible tragedy is that Fannie and Freddie, being the major buyers of loans, were in a position to disclose such risk for all investors, yet never sent up warnings.

WSJ 6-25-2010:  Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $102 million ($58 million to >1,000 MA homeowners

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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House Squatters – Temporary epidemic or here to stay with chronic homelessness?

Beware of leaving your house vacant when trying to sell it…or even for any extended length of time.

Scammers can enter your house, change the locks with new keys, run ads in Craigslist or other places and get $$ from unsuspecting tenants and they can move into the home immediately and you might have to go to court to remove them from YOUR home!

Squtters in Georgia have right to stay in house?

Note: Follow up to the story – there is some confusion…when one attorney is asked, he said that “mediation between the parties is mandatory”…but when homeowner finally asked the Cobb County District Attorney, the decision there was criminal trespassing…this needs more clarification in state and local laws…

Sacramento realtors say squatting is on the rise.

Las Vegas realtors packing heat for protection against squatters.

In Los Angeles, a condo could be lost to squatters?

Punta Gorda squatters vacate woman’s rental home.

Neighbors fed up with squatters in Fresno neighborhood.

Realtors, neighbors concerned over increase in squatters across Albuquerque.

Property owner arrested in squabble with squatters in Germantown.

Neighbors say squatters are trying to take over a Myers Park home.

Some states are paying attention to this…others are in confusion.

New Washington State law to streamline process of removing squatters from homes. Police say if you own a vacant home, make it look like someone lives there. They recommend mowing lawns, turning lights on, and posting “no trespassing” signs.

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Daily Access Brokerage Real Estate News

9-21-2017:

Post #1: 8 things sellers should expect from their real estate agent….besides loyalty?

Post #2: Foreclosures start rising in Houston – is Florida next?

9-20-2017: How real estate developers are luring millennial homebuyers. Offering to pay off their student loans? Nope – pet spas!

9-19-2017: Mortgage Rates Continue Pushing Recent Highs. The good news is that rates’ ascent has been (for the moment) been orderly and moderate.

9-18-2017: Freddie Mac Unveils its HARP Replacement Loan = Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage. The new product, branded as the Enhanced Relief Refinance Mortgage, will provide refinance opportunities to borrowers with existing Freddie Mac mortgages but who cannot utilize the Freddie Mac “no cash-out” refinance because the LTV of the new loan would exceed that program’s maximum limit.

9-14-2017: The Advantages Of Electronic Mortgage Closing.

9-13-2017:

5 Things Real Estate Agents Wish You Knew About Buying a House.

9-12-2017:

Post #1: Five Key Questions For Home Sellers.

Post #2: Zillow Group Acquires New Home Feed.

9-11-2017: Three Big Things Homebuyers Are On The Look-Out For.

9-8-2017:

Post #1:
Crystal McDowell Missing: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
.

Post #2: 5 Mistakes Buyers Make.

9-7-2017:

Post #1: What Are Your Rights And Responsibilities If You Lose Your Home To A Natural Disaster.

Post #2: Wall Street Journal (8-26/27-2017 page A2) “Paydown the Mortgage, Forgo Gains” – Good question is “How much cash do you need to have in case of emergency?” Also you need to calculate the benefit of deducting mortgage interest. But what the article didn’t address is your ability to control your discretionary spending after you pay off credit card debt with home equity…or…Are you maxing out your retirement and other investment opportunities?

9-6-2017:

Post #1: Are we headed for another housing collapse?

Post #2: Should real estate agents be allowed to act for both buyer and seller?

9-5-2017 – See my new blog post: Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report.

9-4-2017:

Post #1: What Hurricane Harvey means for real estate and mortgage rates.

Post #2: Home Builders stock values have risen high as well as the costs and prices of homes. Materials costs are rising as well as severe labor shortages have resulted….median home price today $315,000 today and $236,000 about 5 years ago. If we see the mortgage rates rise we will see pressure on builders and home prices.

9-1-2017:

Post #1: What is a real estate easement?

Post #2: Rip-Off Alert: Cyber scammers stepping up game in real estate fraud.

8-30-2017:

Post #1: First-Time Home Seller Tips: Identify a Strong Offer.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
2. Understand Your Home Both Inside and Out
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Post #2: It’s not just you — there really are fewer homes for sale with inventory at a 20-year low.

8-29-2017:

Post #1: Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits. “It appears that many sellers are avoiding commissions while netting home prices less than they would with an agent-represented MLS sale. They are avoiding commissions at any price, even one that exceeds a commission rate.”

Post #2: Fortress Builders Building at Marietta Active-Adult Community. To learn more about claiming a new home in this exciting active-adult community and the closing cost incentive, contact the sales center at 404-307-5867 or BarrettPreserve@BuiltByFortress.com

8-28-2017:

Post #1: Is real estate still a man’s domain?

Post #2: How Much Should You Disclose When Selling Your House.

8-25-2017:

Post #1: Seattle Real Estate Firm Offers “For Sale By Owner” Assistance With Five Figure Savings.

Post #2: Amazon Hints at Possible Real Estate Services Expansion.

Post #3: Are Millions Of Boomerang Buyers About To Ignite The Real Estate Market?

8-24-2017:

Post #1:
Three Percent Or 20 Percent – Which Is The Smarter Down Payment Strategy
?

Post #2: Who Pays the Real Estate Agent When You Buy or Sell a Home? .

8-23-2017:

Post #1: 12 Ways to Find New Real Estate Clients

Post #2: HOA Meeting Basics – Basic outline of how to conduct a 2 hour HOA meeting.

8-22-2017:

Post #1: When It Comes To Disclosures, How Much Do You Really Have To Tell? It depends on your state’s laws. For example: In Georgia, there is no contractual requirement for you to furnish written disclosures, but it is required for you to make “material” disclosures to a Buyer such as disclose if you have lead based paint, but you don’t need to disclose if anyone has died in the home.

Post #2: A Georgia seller does not need to inform a buyer if any diseased person ever lived in the home, or if a homicide, felony, suicide, or any other death occurred there (Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16(a)(1)).

Also, the buyer must investigate certain information about the neighborhood where the home is located. Georgia statutes specifically state a seller isn’t required to inform buyer if a registered sex offender lives in the area (Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16 (b)).

8-21-2017:

Post #1: Are we to see an end to property purchase appraisals? Well, yes and no – it all depends!

Post #2: How to Identify the Right Buyer for Your Home.

8-18-2017:

Post #1: Buying a Short Sale: 4 Tips to Make Yours the Winning Offer. 1. Have your finances sorted 2. Be ready to wait for approval 3. Don’t expect contingencies 4. Don’t navigate a short sale alone.

Post #2: source: WSJ, 8-11-2017, Page M3 – “Closings take a big leap into the digital age”. A property closing took place totally online without buyers and sellers there at the same time. Not totally unusual but what was unusual was they both signed electronically and no original copies. And even though a survey of homeowners reflected 70% were not in favor of closing without th parties being there.

8-17-2017:

Post #1: Do You Think of Real Estate When You Look At Facebook?

Post #2: Atlanta Commercial Real Estate News.

8-16-2017:

Post #1: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

Pot #2: What Should Homebuyers do in this Real Estate Market? Here are 3 Tips.

8-15-2017:

Post #1: Norton: Technology is changing real estate..– Norton said this technology won’t replace a broke…but what about agents?

Post #2: WSJ, 8-11-2017, page b1. “US home Renata giants plan to merge.” Both Blackstone Group and Starwood Waypoint Homes plan to merge resulting in a total of 82,000 homes with American Homes 4 Rent with 49,000.

8-14-2017:

Post #1: Answer to LIBOR Question Written in Reverse Mortgage Notes.

Post #2: One Big Reason Millennials Are Buying Homes? For Their Dogs.

8-11-2017:

Post #1: Mortgage interest tax break has ‘no effect’ on homeownership, says study.

Post #2: Home renovation is booming. We’ll de-construct the reasons why and look at the hot new trends..

8-9-2017:

Post #1: What You Should Know Before Buying A Condominium .

Post #2: WSJ, 7-29/30-2017, B4 “The Winners and Losers of a Tax Overhaul”
Ok – we know now that Congress can decide anything – even inaction – when it comes to real change…but it’s interesting that proposals for eliminating the mortgage interest deduction (worth $65 Billion in tax revenue); charitable deductions (worth about $60 Billion); and elimination of deduction for state and local taxes (worth more than $100 Billion) are being considered.

8-8-2017:

Post #1: WSJ – 7-26-17 A2 “taxpayers report fewer identify thefts”
Although there are fewer reports of IRS related identity theft, criminals are attempting to breach computer systems of tax preparers, payroll companies, and employers to gain personal information about employees. Or, wherever large Mounts of personal data are stored…like the cloud?

Post #2: Why seniors should consider a reverse mortgage. Using a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term health care—such as a long-term care insurance premiums, payments to caregivers or nursing homes, and modifications to make a home more accessible—may be a wise financial move for seniors, but be sure to consult a professional financial advisor.
================================

8-7-2017:

Post #1: Jones Long Lasalle Income Property Trust (from Chicago) reportedly just closed on its $47 million purchase of The Reserve apartment complex in Johns Creek, GA which equates to about $224,000 per unit of the 210 units. That’s alot for apartments renting from $1,100-1,800/month rent…maybe they will convert them to condominiums soon (next 1-3 years)for $300K+ and reap big return?

Post #2: How drones are changing the real estate business. Realtors try to use eye-catching visuals that will help sell homes.

8-4-2017:

Post #1: !!!ATTENTION ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS!!!Real Estate Text Scam to Real Estate Agents Makes Bold Accusation.

NOTE: File a complaint immediately at FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Post #2: Amazon’s Alexa Adds More Real Estate Skills.

8-3-2017:

Post #1: Hidden costs of homeownership may run over $9,000 per year.

Post #2: Uber, Lyft take down not just cab drivers, but also lenders.

8-2-2017:

Post #1: 10 tips for first-time buyers<>.

Post #2: Mbultiple articles on real estate issues. Mortgage Industry Complaints, Millennials Buying Homes, Seller Disclosure Guidelines, and More.

7-31-2017:

Post #1: Technology allowing buyers to purchase Tucson homes without stepping foot inside.

Post #2: Thieves, posing as landlords, tell potential renters that in order to get in the house for a tour, they have to provide their credit card number as a deposit. And they get it!

7-28-2017:

Post #1: Action 9 investigates a real estate secret that can haunt homeowners.

Post #2: Homeownership rate jumps from 50-year low.

7-27-2017:

Post #1: Wall Street Journal – June 12, 2017-R2
Fannie Mae – allows the homebuyer with student debt to use housing debt at a lower interest rate,to pay off stid not loans. Anyone can use financing – it doesn’t have to be the student. Fannie Mae no longer considers student loan, car loan, credit card debt that is paid in past 12 months by someone else in the debt to income ratios. Even some states are offering inc notices. Maryland offers a 2nd mortgage up to 15% of the mortgage which isn’t required to be paid back, but 20% is forgiven each year the homeowner stays in the house. New York of feral up to $15,000 down payment assistance. Ohio offers both down payment assistance and discounted mortgage interest rate to recent college grads.

Post #2: New Homes Sales Fall Short of Expectations.

7-26-2017:5 Tips for Tenants Renting a Foreclosure Property.

7-25-2017: Broad institute of mit and Harvard and 3 others own Crispr-Cas9 patents and submitted 22 patents for evaluation of proposed pool including intellectual property rights. Crispr is the defense system of bacteria using protein Cas9 to edit genes in plants, animals, and people. Main question: who should control its use…research or industry and should the government help allocate its use? Wsj, 7-10-17, B4.

7-24-2017:

Post #1: Freddie Mac news: Home prices are up, inventory is down. And that just means there’s a free market system in residential real estate…somewhat free.

Post #2: Illinois borrowed $17 billion to pay pensions that are unfounded by $130 billion…Chicago public schools borrowed $400 million @6.4% to pay pension obligations.

7-21-2017: How to Buy a Home.

7-20-2017: Sacramento realtors say squatting is on the rise.

7-19-2017: Foreigners buy record number of U.S. homes despite fears of immigration crackdown .

7-18-2017: Focus on Finance: When do you need a real estate survey? Note: Be sure to check with your closing attorney to determine impact on your enhanced title insurance coverage.

7-17-2017:

Post #1: Legislature passes construction defects legislation.

Post #2: Almost Half of Americans Have Buyer’s Remorse About Their House.7-14-2017:

Post #1: The difference between a real estate market correction and crash? Hint: 10% drop – more or less.

Post #2: Attorney pushes back on allegations against real estate agent.

Post #3: 7 Key Things That Help You Qualify For A Mortgage.

7-13-2017:

Post #1: A bizarre co-working scheme and the global rise of online real estate fraud.

Post #2: Focus on Finance: When do you need a real estate survey?

7-12-2017:

Post #1: 5 Tips for Tenants Renting a Foreclosure Property.

Post #2:Ask these questions before choosing a Realtor”.

Post #3:
Action 9 investigates a real estate secret that can haunt homeowners in Florida – open building permits from 28 years ago
.

7-11-2017:

Homeowners get taxed – California State Senate approves real estate transaction fee to fund more affordable housing.

7-10-2017:

Post #1: Indianapolis tightens rules to force landlords to clean up trashy houses, but realty agents say it won’t matter.

Post #2: NAR said 2016 may be best year for existing home sales volume since 2006 WSJ-8-25-16, C8 (Probably because new homes are so damn expensive.)

7-7-2017: June 28, 2017 WSJ, Page B8 Worker Shortage Squeezes Developers – About 2/3 of developers surveyed said they are having a challenge to finish jobs on time since they can’t find qualified contractors for concrete, interior finishing, masonry, electrical and plumbing. (My comment from experience and what I’ve witnessed in real estate: “NO”, illegal immigrants don’t have those skills either since most learn “on the job” what the developer/builder wants done.

7-6-2017: Protecting Yourself During a Move.

7-5-2017: Delaware raises its transfer tax to 4% of property price at closing. How will it affect the state’s economy? What is the transfer tax in your state? In Georgia, it is currently $1.00/$1,000 of property price paid at closing.

6-30-2017:

Post #1: Real estate broker accused of taking items from home. Allegedly sold $400,000 worth of personal and household belongings without homeowner’s permission.

Post #2: Fake Florida Board of Realtors scam alert. Elaborate scheme to get realtors to send $200+ to criminals.

Post #3: Scumbag Alert: Real estate agencies contacted by man attempted to lure women to properties. I assume this happens in other instances since some realtor photos make a female agent appear to be a sexy or more provocative looking female. Some photos I’ve seen makes realtors look like whores!

6-29-2017: Ontario proposes banning real estate agents from representing seller and buyer – Will the US follow the same path?

6-28-2017:
SCAM ALERT: Fake REal Estate Board targets REALTORS® again
!

6-22-2017: WSJ, May 30, 2017, Page A1 – Credit Picture Brightens…At least 6 million people will have their personal bankruptcies removed from their credit picture in the next 5 years.,,,Average FICO credit score in the US was 700…Mortgage foreclosures usually stay on credit reports for 7 years and personal bankruptcies stay for 7-10 years…Chapter 13 bankruptcies (those who work out payment plans) stay for about 7 years.

6-20-2017: Zillow’s real estate ‘Zestimates’ under fire. An Illinois real-estate broker filed a lawsuit based on the Zestimates and their accuracy. Even though Zillow offers disclaimer about acccuracy of Zestimates, people often use these estimates as real property values.

6-19-2017: Passive Income Is Great, But Are You Really Cut Out To Be A Landlord?

6-16-2017: Billionaires Beware: Taxpayer Funded Stadiums Nearing the End Zone.

6-15-2017: Using the Reverse Mortgage to purchase a home. Get a reverse mortgage loan of between 47% to 52% of the purchase price of the new home. It may be required to sell your current home to make the remainder of down payment.

6-13-2017:Buy A Home With A Reverse Mortgage.

6-12-2017: Treasury report expected to be harshly critical of consumer agency – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is targeted for disassembly and disposal.

6-10-2017: Homebuying secrets from the real estate battlefield.

6-9-2027:

Post #1: 8 Rookie Mistakes That Keep People From Selling Their Home.

Post #2: Real estate agent accused in killings prompts new law in South Carolina – and maybe across the country? Even though the application forms ask about previous federal criminal history, many states do not perform background checks as a condition of real estate licensing.
6-8-2017:

Post #1: Passive Income Is Great, But Are You Really Cut Out To Be A Landlord? .

Post #2: FHA has recently imposed requirements that to be eligible for an insured FHA loan, the association’s financial reserves must equal at least 20 percent of their annual budget.

6-7-2017: Zillow’s “Instant Offers” disrupts real estate community.

6-6-2017: . Case was dismissed on a technicality….bummer!

6-5-2017:

Post #1: Top 10 Markets With the Highest Hidden Costs of Owning a Home.

Post #2: >New Home Prices Are Falling—So Why Are There Fewer Sales?

6-3-2017: The pros and cons of using drones in the real estate business.

6-2-2017: How to Get Denied for a Mortgage After Preapproval. (Hints: Employment-debt-moving money – credit score changes too much.)

6-1-2017: 10 Crucial Real Estate Contract Terms Home Buyers Should Know Before They Sign.

5-31-2017: ‘Will An Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Really Look Out for Me?’

5-30-2017: 3 home insurance myths you need to dispel. Not everything is covered-no; flood insurance-no; and market value insured-no…

5-26-2017: Real estate agents share dos, don’ts for buyers, sellers.

5-24-2017: New home sales are down over 11% in April but national Association of realtors said that we’re on a slow and study upward trajectory on existing homes and the supplies of new homes should be rising as well. This should be good news for those that are in the market search for better inventory and for sellers to move to more choices. Source: WSJ, 5-24-2017, page A2.

5-23-2017:

Post #1
Zillow’s next step may disrupt real estate brokerages.

Post #2:

Three Things Home Buyers Should Never Do

5-22-2017: First-time buyers are snatching up homes in droves.

5-19-2017: How to Get Along With Your Contractor.

5-17-2017: The biggest regrets people have after buying a home. Not buying a bigger house. This was the No. 1 regret listed in studies. About 41% of homeowners said they were not aware of all of their loan options. About 1 in 5 home buyers wished they had had more information about their homes. Other findings in report from Nerdwallet were interesting.

5-16-2017:

Post #1: Real estate’s new normal: homeowners staying put.

Post #2: About 4% of employers offer mortgage assistance to relocating employees; 3% offer down payment assistance; 8% offer reimbursement of fees paid to real estate agents. The movement of employers now is to offer a lump sum amount to employees and not detailed coverages. It is suggested that employees try to negotiate for the best deal and consider the income tax implications of a lump sum payment for relocation. WSJ 5-5-17, Page M4.

5-15-2017: Real Estate’s New Normal: Homeowners Staying Put. The median length of time people have owned their homes rose to 8.7 years in 2016, more than double what it had been 10 years earlier. And now that interest rates have begun to turn up from their historic lows, the housing market may face a problem called “the lock-in” effect, where homeowners are reluctant to move, since moving might entail taking out a new mortgage at a higher rate.

5-12-2017:

Post #1: Do Schools Really Impact Property Values? YES…YES…and YES!

Post #2: 7 Snapchat tips for agents (i.e., How to better market to millennials).

5-11-2017: Is the Traditional Real Estate Model Under Pressure? (California may BAN Dual Agency?)

5-10-207:

Post #1: 3 Big Things Home Buyers Are Looking For In Their New Home .

Post #2: Efforts to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lead to “a potential and significant shock” to the commercial real-estate sector.

5-9-2017: Homeowner sues Zillow, says ‘Zestimate’ is nonsense.

5-8-2017: A drop in new home construction (labor shortages, increased zoning regulations, rising prices of building materials, and caution among builders) and strong demand from Buyers pushing prices up is causing National Home Price Index to rise. With small chance of supply gut in near future, economists expect prices to continue to rise. Nationally it is estimated that home prices are 4% overvalued.
Source: Rising Home Prices Stir Overheating Fears – WSJ, 4-26-2017, Pge A2

5-5-2017:

Post #1: Arzona Real estate agent sick of burglaries drives into man he believed was stealing.

Post #2: 10 Most Common Real Estate IRA Questions Asked by Investors.

5-4-2017:

Poat #1: Home Values in 2017: Are We Facing A Real Estate Bubble?.

Post #2: Real Estate Sale: First 4 Steps After Deciding To Sell Your Home.

5-3-2017:

Post #1: NAR report highlights growing appraisal problems. Also, combined with financing issues comprises over 50% of issues preventing closings. Over 50% of mortgage originators interviewed in a separate survey said they had experienced difficulty with appraisals. But is this the fault of appraisers, or agents/homeowners pricing their homes too high?

Post #2: Are Your Title Insurance Fees Paying for Rangers’ Playoff Tickets?

5-2-2017: Minnesota Commerce Warns of Wire Scam involving Real Estate – spreading across the US. The scam profile: Criminals hack into the computers or email accounts of real estate professionals; find out when closings are happening; then send fake email containing instructions to wire funds to a different account. This works pretty well since most all closing attorneys don’t accept Certified Checks any longer for funds since they can’t be verified as legitimate.

5-1-2017: Rental-home success depends on quality of tenants.

4-28-2017: Should You Use a Real Estate Agent to Find Your Next Rental?

4-27-2017: Real Estate Lawyers Applaud New Jersey Supreme Court’s Ruling on Email Notice.

4-25-2017:H1-B Visas – can we have the evidence that US citizens are even considered?

4-21-2017: Commercial Lending Falls Amid Growing Risks.

4-20-2017: Why world tensions are making mortgages cheaper.

4-19-2017: Using Smart Home Devices to Help Seniors.

4-18-2017: What Happens When a Buyer Backs Out Last-Minute.

4-17-2017: What a New Glass-Steagall Act Wouldn’t Do.

4-14-2017: Homeowners and appraisers disagree on home valuations.

4-13-2017: Appraiser Opinions Keep Falling Short of Homeowner Expectations…ut some cities are bucking that trend.

4-12-2017:HUD Administrative actions against mortgage lenders.

4-11-2917: America now divided over Bible verses. And I would say to those who ask “what does this have to do with real estae?”…well, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands!

4-10-2017:Real Estate Advice: Shop around for the right mortgage.

4-7-2017: U.S. Property Taxes Levied On Single Family Homes In 2016 Total More Than $277 Billion.

4-6-2017:Buyer Beware: Real estate scams exposed.

4-5-2017: Mortgage interest rates respond to the 10 year Treasury notes since most homeowners stay in their homes closer to 10 years than what used to be the typical 30 years.

4-4-2017: Hidden Costs That Can Diminish Your Rental Property Profits.

4-3-2017: Cost of Construction permitting has risen over past decade including storm water capturing devices, customized architectural plans, and $15,000 to remove a tree on a property, as well as other new regulations. The average cost of compliance with regulations has risen 30% in the past 5 years. WSJ, July 23-24, 2016.

3-31-2017: ‘No Knock’ Registry Is a Jab at Real Estate. Is this coming to a town near you? Doe it also include mailings and posted advertisements like “We Buy Houses”?

3-30-2017: Veteran with A Purple Heart received a free house. Isn’t that good news? Wells Fargo said that since 2012, the bank has donated about 300 homes, with a value of more than $50 million, to veterans in all 50 states. Wells Fargo has donated more than 200 through the Military Warriors foundation.

3-29-2017: FHA lost > $300,000 in transactions for three properties. Freddie Mac, also lost about $164,000 and Fannie Mae was allegedly also defrauded out of > $15,000.

3-28-2017: Real Estate Commissioner in California Issues Warning To Agents and Brokers – This warning also applies to all Brokers and Agents across the US.

3-24-2017:
Buyer Beware: Real estate scams exposed
. Never wire money to anyone in a real estaet transaction unless first verifying the Bank and Account info is legitimate.

3-23-2017: 10 Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster.

3-22-2017: How millennials are changing the real estate market. Millennials are in fact very civic-minded and believe in equality for all…willing to buy a smaller place in a less desirable area …increasing number of millennials accessing the internet exclusively on mobile devices, agents should also look into marketing avenues and mobile apps that could enhance their businesses.

3-21-2017: Ask the HOA Expert: Mold Conditions.

3-20-2017: What are Atlanta’s real estate hotspots of 2017?

3-16-2017: 4 Common Real Estate Scams That Smart People Fall For.

3-15-2017: After peaking at all time high of 69.2% in 2Q04, the US homeownership rate fell in 2Q16 to 62.9% (lowest rate in 50 years) but more likely skewed by the higher rate of renter household formation. WSJ, 7-29-16, A2. However, by January 2017, the rate has risen to 63.7%. Encouraging sign of growth?

3-14-2017: MBA Reports Double Digit Jump in New Home Purchase Applications.

3-13-2017: Understanding VA Minimum Property Requirements.

3-10-2017: Utah real estate agent gets 6 months in jail over waterless subdivision.

3-9-2017: 7 Things You Can Do Now To Instantly Up Your Home Value For Under $100.

3-7-2017: Should You Work With a Part-Time Real Estate Agent?

3-6-2017: How pot is firing up this real estate. A Cannabis REIT? – Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIPR)

3-2-2017: Retirement: Can I use my IRA to buy real estate?

3-1-2017: Six arrested in ‘elaborate’ real estate fraud scheme.

2-28-2017: Gap between housing affordability and availability will grow in the months to come. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests homebuyers at many income levels could see an inadequate amount of listings on the market within their price range in coming months.

2-27-2017: Tight inventory of homes on the market causing decline in sales you say???? Yeah, plenty of crap homes on market and not enough decent inhabitable homes for decent prices…everybody wants alot for the crappy homes!

2-23-2017: Existing Home Sales and Prices Surge Despite Rate Increases

2-22-2017: Governing documents in a Condominium are similar to HOA CCRs in a subdivision and restrict your use of common elements and sometimes inside your home.

2-20-2017: U.S. Congress passed a law years ago that first time home buyers who purchase a home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 would be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit. As I understand it, $500 tax credit per year for 15 years or until the property ownership is transferred. If the ownership transfers prior to the 15 year period, then all cumulative tax credits are now owed to and to be paid back to the IRS upon ownership transfer. Furthermore, the US Congress passed another bill that made those first time homebuyers who purchased homes after December 31, 2008 and before December 1, 2009 would now be eligible for an immediate $8,000 non refundable (isn’t required to b paid back to the IRS) tax credit. I wonder how many homeowners are stuck in this position now that home prices are returning to re-crisis levels and they are ready to sell their homes and move?

2-18-2017: Six Reasons Why Wholesale Repeal of Dodd-Frank is Unlikely.

2-17-2017: 2016 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information For Agents and Home Sellers.

2-16-2017: Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP) = 105,000+ loans sold to private investors & 10,000 remained in homes – worth taxpayer payout? Also per WSJ, 7-1-2016, A2 article – homeowners got to stay in 20% of the DASP homes. Regardless of actual %, was the payout from US taxpayers (via lower sales price of loan and through FHA loan losses) worth it?

2-15-2017: Realities of Real Estate: What’s the value of improvements when a home is sold? .

2-13-2017: Before anyone blames Trump for playing favorites with mortgage lenders, it was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (or more correctly Mel Watt (an Obama appointee) in charge of FHFA approved it. Fannie and Freddie agreed to arbitration over appeals from lenders in cases where Fannie and Freddie accused lenders of loan mistakes and compel them to buy back the mortgage loans. The result is that if lenders have a path to prove their innocence in arbitration, then they are more willing to make loans. Source: WSJ, 2-3-2016, Pag C6.

2-10-2017:Here’s Why More Millennials Are Living With Mom and Dad.

2-6-2017: Countertop Pros And Cons: What To Choose And Why.

2-3-2017: Question of the day: When a life insurance policyholder dies, is it up to the insurance company or the beneficiary to follow up to ensure payment?

2-2-2017: By 2020 there are forecast to be 54 million 55-plus households in the U.S..

2-1-2017: Hey – wait a minute….California residents demand repeal of zoning laws to provide more housing?

1-31-2017: YEs – yes, I know this the topic of REITs or Real Estate Purchase and Leasebacks aren’t my typical thing, but I found this a little humorous and sad at the same time. Online transactions are crushing “brick and mortar” retailers like Macy’s and Sears. But there is hope for future revenues and expenses. Macy’s is now partnering with Brookfield (property management company) to offer 50 real estate properties (100 more to come in 2017) for subleasing or development for other retailers or companies thereby generating lease revenue. Sears has created Seritage Growth Properties (who bought almost 300 Sears/Kmart properties and rents most back to Sears) to use their real estate assets to generate income as well. Sears and Macy’s got some level of cash infusion selling these properties and now are in a position to terminate any long term leases of stores that are not profitable. However, they have a good idea to sub-lease space in their stores for products and services that “can” make money and therefore, pay “rent”. AJC, 1-29-2017, Buyer’s Edge, Page 4.

1-30-2017: Real estate investors (many are small companies) may lose important tax tool – Section 1031 deferred tax exchange. US Congress may eliminate or seriously restrict the use of tax-deferred exchanges – property swaps – under Section 1031. This applies to commercial & rental properties only – Fixer-upper houses and other real estate held for short periods and then flipped to new buyers do not qualify for tax-deferred exchanges, nor do owner-occupied residences.

1-27-2017: Explanation of duties between Listing Agents and Buyer Agents.

1-26-2017: Post #1: City of Chicago to expand $1 lot program to 4,000 vacant properties.

Post #2: How to buy a property without a real estate agent.

1-25-2017: U.S. Home Affordability Drops to 8-Year Low in Q4 2016.

1-24-2017: 2016 Saw Mortgage Distress Recede Strongly.

1-23-2017: Where were home sales most likely to FAIL in 2016?

1-20-2017: Trump suspends the January 9th FHA mortgage insurance rate reductions on day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Why? Congressional Republicans believe the fund isn’t sufficient to cushion taxpayer bailouts during any economic downturn since these loans are more risky than conventional loans.

1-19-2017: 6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Buying a Home?

1-18-2017: Developer building up a portfolio by creating housing for millennials.

1-12-2017: Real estate scam bilks buyers, sellers during transactions. Email hackers and spoofers will pretend they are from closing attorney or real estate offices and send an email to you reportedly stating there has been a change of financial institution routing information. Normally, you may follow those instructions. However, you should call the closing office to verify any financial institution routing transaction information first before you execute any wiring transmission to the closing office. Cybercriminals who have hacked into the email accounts of real estate brokers, title companies and consumers who are in the process of buying or selling a home.

1-11-2017: Foreclosures Approach Normal Level.

1-9-2017: Breakdown of FHA’s Multifaceted MIP Cut. Annual FHA MIP drops by 25 bps effective February 1st and beyond.

1-6-2017: A New Twist on Owner Occupancy Fraud.Borrowers are applying for loans with the stated intent of investment property, using rent income to qualify for loan, then moving into property as personal residence….mortgage fraud!

1-5-2017: Buying More Affordable Than Renting in 66 Percent of U.S. Housing Markets.

1-4-2017: Banks make house flipping easier for investors.

12-31-2016: Wish for a Happy New Year in 2017 for you!

A SELECT FEW OF THE THOUSANDS OF FORECAST VISIONS for 2017 REAL ESTATE

Vision #1: Real estate agents predict low inventory levels in 2017.

Vision #2: What’s ahead for 2017? Headwinds form in real estate boom-bust cycle.

Vision #3: Speical Inman Report – Outlook for 2017 Real Estate. See full Inman Real Estate Report for 20176 here.

Vision #4: Rising interest rates in 2017 may not matter in housing demand and prices.

Vision #5: These 5 Trends Will Shape the Housing Market in 2017.

Vision #6: Top 5 real estate trends for 2017.

Vision #7: 2017 Real Estate could be bumpier. Although it’s not true that TRID has been implemented smoothly (there are still errors and as an agent, I don’t receive document before closing so when I see mistakes, it’s too late!) Interesting that PMI will no longer be tax deductible.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others. Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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Complaints about real estate agents – legitimate or reflection on client poor choices?

Volumes can be written on this subject alone…and “the cloud” is already filled with so much data, those volumes are not necessary. And there are those times where you blame your current or previous real estate agents for some type of errors or omissions in judgement or observations that if done appropriately at the right time, could have spared you grief at some level. Stuff like no coat closet on main floor of a house Mortimer rubs against a buyer…or not telling the Buyer about current events in the neighborhood or what was happening around them in the near future…or defects in the house that the agent may have been aware of before purchase but not a severe nature…or just caused more expense fixing it after closing than desired.

But are complaints legitimate, or just a reflection on the poor choices made by the Buyers or Sellers?

Each agent/broker pays money each year for what’s called professional “Errors and Omissions” Insurance. This covers some insurance for thefts through lock-boxes, errors or omissions in contracts, or performance of services. But like all other insurance coverage, it comes with a deductible and doesn’t cover ALL issues.

Bottom line: It’s difficult to prove complete incompetence and what the Agent knew or didn’t know before closing.

So…Buyer and Seller Beware – Be informed and perform your Due Diligence.

Let me know your thoughts.

Source of inspiration for post: Where to turn when you have a problem with your real-estate agent. Even though this article dealt with Ontario in Canada, complaints against real estate agents know no physical boundaries.

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Home Builders Remain Confident

The sentiment and index of new housing is as strong as it has ever been within the community of exiting home builders.

Not only are prices up, but the near future looks attractive for several reasons:

(1) Actual number of new home builders has shrunk to a low right now.
(2) The cost of any new builders entering the market is more difficult with respect to (a) obtaining a bank loan to start building and (b) buying available property that already got scooped up by other builders.
(3) Even though the pace of building new homes has slowed, that has resulted in lower “new” inventory. Coupled with a strong current demand by potential Buyers, this has pushed prices higher.

Now there are difficulties that builders are facing – mainly higher costs to acquire materials and a labor shortage.

Home sales have hit their highest pace in a decade – national median home price jumped almost 7% from last year – millennials are getting back into the market –

Bottom line: Existing home builders are riding the wave of higher prices, more profits, and fewer competitors…in other words, near nirvana.

Source: Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2017, Page B12 and Page A2.

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After closing – property tax bill and homestead exemption

Now this is an interesting, often ignored, topic.

Almost everyone who purchases a property in the State of Georgia signs a form similar to the sample document in this blog post at closing.

In addition to the Buyers and Sellers signing paperwork or documents at the closing table that they agree to cooperate to sign revised paperwork to correct inadvertent errors or omissions, the parties also agree that if estimates are used to calculate each party’s pportion of current or previous year’s property taxes, they agree to get together to share proration of any property taxes or tax assessments against the property after closing.

Attached is a typical statement that both parties sign reflecting that agreement.

Also, notice the other statement reminding the new Buyer to file a homestead exemption paperwork to extend or use all existing homestead exemptions to reduce property taxes.

Does anyone ever read this?

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Can an HOA prevent you from leasing your real property?

Yes and no – depending on your existing HOA CCRs and your HOA reaction to limitations placed on certain types loans (i.e., FHA) by lenders allowed to be used by Buyers if rentals/leases exceed certain thresholds and whether or not the HOA has elected to submit itself to the 1994 Georgia Property Owners Act (POA).

HOAs that agree to be compliant with the POA are not subject to Section 44-5-60 (4) of the Georgia Code. This code section states that “no change in the covenants which imposes a greater restriction on the use or development of the land will be enforced unless agreed to in writing by the owner of the affected property at the time such change is made.” This advantage is most readily apparent in those Associations who wish to pass amendments to their Declaration to enact stricter leasing restrictions.

So in the case where your HOA is now in compliance with the POA, leasing regulations can be enacted and the renewed lease with your tenant may be denied and you will no longer be allowed to lease the property.

Source: The Georgia POA Act and Your Association.

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