- Is residential real estate heading for another bubble?
- Problems with PEX plumbing?
- Real Estate Crimes including Mortgage Fraud and other Scumbags
- 2021 News from Access Brokerage, Inc. Real Estate Services
- 2020 Real Estate News
- Housing Market in Atlanta, Georgia to Keep Climbing into 2020
- Real estate scams
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Link to my Podcast on the subject: Problems with PEX Plumbing
Even though lead pipes were used and researcher found elevated levels of lead in Roman water levels, some research has revealed it wasn’t the main cause of the demise of the Roman Empire. However, it is dangerously toxic.
The CDC warns us High levels of lead in tap water can cause health effects if the lead in the water enters the blood and causes high blood lead level. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body. EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is a toxic metal that is persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the body over time. (Lead in Drinking Water) Also, more than 40% of the Atlanta schools recently had elevated lead levels in their drinking water.
No – PEX pipes don’t create or introduce lead. But can we learn from the Romans that we need to be careful of the plumbing materials we use for our drinking water?
Furthermore, we’re told by health professionals and nutritional experts we shouldn’t drink water from plastic bottles, practically everyone does. Glass containers are supposed to be safer and healthier.
So why do we choose to drink water out of plastic pipes?
Simple – new construction and cost.
PEX pipe used in many new homes today is a cross-linked polyethylene tubing. It’s easier, cheaper, and requires less overall plumber time,…and that’s good for home builders to reduce costs whenever possibie. Copper is expensive, CPVC is also time consuming for many straight runs and joints. So the recent quick alternative was to use a flexible tubing and install joints at end of connections.
However, what has been revealed through its use is defective PEX fittings. Some were first introduced in the 1990s, but the problems are really just now coming to light.
There are two problems that come from high zinc content in brass fittings.
(1) when water flows through the high zinc brass fittings, the zinc in the fittings leaches out of the fittings (DeZincificatin) which causes failure of fittings.
(2) the leaching of zinc also causes a white residue to build up inside the pipes, constricting water flow.
If you have a plumber out and you can find out exactly that type of PEX pipes you have in your home or business, you will be ahead of the game. The following are commonly found problems associated with specific types of PEX pipes:
- PEX-A (Uponor/Wirsbo and Rehau): dezincification of fittings and chemical leaching/odor (AquaPEX only)
- PEX-B (Zurn & Viega): dezincification of fittings
- PEX-C (Nibco/CPI/DuraPEX): cracked, leaking pipes
- PEX-AL-PEX (Kitec/IPEX): dezincification of fittings
Issues with PEX plumbing and fittings
PEX may leach BPA and other toxic chemicals. There are 3 types of PEX (A, B, and C), but type B is the only one that doesn’t appear to have the leaching problem. The research is still incomplete on this matter, but if you want to use PEX, you may want to choose type B.
PEX is extremely sensitive to UV light. UV light doesn’t just mean sunlight, even the bulbs in your home are UV lights. Most manufacturers recommend a limited amount of sunlight exposure, which is important to note during the installation process, and others recommend total darkness.
PEX can be damaged by chemicals and pests. Some pest control companies argue against installing PEX because it’s so susceptible to pest damage. Since PEX is plastic, it’s more sensitive than copper and other metal pipes. Mice can chew right through the pipe, causing major problems. The thing to keep in mind though, is this is more of a rodent problem than a PEX problem.
PEX can’t be installed in high heat areas. You can’t install PEX in high heat areas like near recessed lighting. This also means you can’t connect PEX directly to a hot water heater, but you can use a connecting material to do this.
PEX is semi-permeable, which means liquid can enter the pipe. When it comes to safety, PEX isn’t antibacterial. This is one reason people don’t choose PEX in the PEX vs. copper decision. The plastic material also allows water to enter the tube, which could cause contamination.
- Improper installation – Failure to install bend supports to prevent kinks when making tight turns which cause improper bends and cracks; or missing nail protection plates to prevent accidental PEX pipe punctures.
- Defective manufacturing – Does anyone remember the class action lawsuits from polybutelene plumbing? If you have Dura Pex, you may still be able to get in on the class action suit that has been filed against NIBCO CPI Dura Pex. Check out information on class action lawsuit for homes and businesses using Dura PEX pipes.
- DeZincification. This is when certain water chemistry causes selective leaching of zinc from brass alloy, resulting in weakening of the fittings and leakages.
- Improperly calibrated tool. When using crimp or clamp/cinch to install a PEX system, the tool should be calibrated beforehand and periodically checked by a professional to ensure the job is done right.
- Failing to pressure test. Failure to abide by pressure testing requirements may not only result in leakages, but also require removing of entire walls/floors, fixtures and other costly repairs.
- Burst/frozen pipes. While more burst-resistant than copper, in extremely low temperatures, when water completely freezes in the pipes, PEX pipes have a little give, but are still susceptible to bursting.
- Over-chlorination of water. Water containing high levels of chlorine is highly aggressive, especially when the water is hot. If water is over-chlorinated or if the piping system is sanitized by treatment with high concentrations of chlorine, the service life of the pipe is greatly reduced.
Suggestion: Get your water tested. You water pH should be at or above 6.5 and your water chlorine concentration should be at or below 4.0 ppm (parts per million).
Live with it and fix the leaks and fittings when they occur.
Install a whole house water filtration system (installed at the point of water supply entry to your home) that removes chlorine, chlorine by-products, and helps with pH.
You can hire a plumber to switch you over to DZR (DeZincification Resistant) brass or poly PEX fittings, both of which are not susceptible to corrosion.
Listen to my podcast on this subject: Real estate crimes and other scumbags
Fraud cases reported by HUD IG: HUD Press releases on Fraud, Waste and Abuse
FBI Website for Fraud – Financial Institution/Mortgage Fraud
CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) – Exposes violations and mortgage fraud
HERE ARE OTHER STORIES
Local businessman behind real estate pyramid scheme enters guilty plea; faces 20-years in federal prison
Former real estate agent gets 10 years in Ponzi scheme…in connection with a $658,838 Ponzi scheme was sentenced to 10 years Friday in U.S. District Court
Indictment Details Charges in Conspiracy to Defraud Financially Distressed Homeowners, Financial Institutions
Case Manager and Property Agent Plead Guilty to Stealing Federal Funds Designated to Help Homeless Veterans
United States Files Civil Fraud Suit Against Three Individuals and Multiple Real Estate Companies Alleging Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Investigators Seeking Victims Of Real Estate Fraud Suspect Jaime Gomez Jr.
Middle Tennessee Investors To Pay $200,000 To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Regarding HUD Program
(same as below)Smyrna real estate agent pleads guilty to mortgage fraud
Real estate attorney stole $285K from clients, prosecutors say…He took money from his clients for “various real estate transactions” and never did the work he was expected to do, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
San Pablo woman accused of real estate fraud…woman fraudulently advertised that she owned homes she was renting.
Former CFO of Long Island Real Estate Company Pleads Guilty to Multi Million Dollar Fraud… When sentenced, Bovell faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as restitution and a fine.
Former Assistant Director of Real Estate for the City of Boston Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Filing a False Tax Return
2 Hawaii real estate companies fined for failing to disclose lead paint… The rule requires sellers and lessors of pre-1978 homes to provide prospective homebuyers and tenants with a federal brochure about lead-based paint, any information known about lead-based paint in the home, and a warning statement about the potential dangers of lead-based paint.
North Hollywood man pleads guilty in $17 million real estate fraud scheme…accused and and various co-defendants tricked homeowners into signing fraudulent deeds on their properties, then used the bogus deeds to extort money, charge illegal fees to delay foreclosure and eviction actions, and steal some homes outright.
FBI arrests East Greenwich woman, accused in $10 million real estate scheme… felony wire fraud charge after she allegedly obtained more than $10 million from investors under fraudulent pretenses. Update 5-3-2019
Real estate developer, Rowland associate, Robert Matthews plead guilty in fraud scheme… conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion offenses related to multiple schemes to defraud foreign investors and financial institutions.
San Diego Finance Executive and Real Estate Broker Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Almost $50 Million
Seven guilty in mortgage fraud scheme that targeted Sacramento’s Latino community… wire fraud stemming from a fraudulent real estate company that targeted members of Sacramento’s Latino community
Florida woman sentenced for Las Vegas real estate scam … the person told buyers that the titles to properties “were free and clear of any and all liens and other security interests.”
The former vice chairman of the Hawaii state Real Estate Commission has been sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years of court supervision-for embezzling more than $200,000 from clients on the Big Island, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday.
Real Estate Developer Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison For Defrauding Investors Out Of $58 Million In Years-Long Real Estate Investment Scheme
Staten Island man sentenced to 3 years in prison for real estate scam that cheated elderly…36 months in jail for a shady deal that targeted investors, including many elderly people, by selling them partnerships in fraudulent real estate companies.
Texas Real estate developers accused of fraud face more allegationsThe two bought property but illegally subdivided it into lots for sale and construction of homes.
Two more real estate investors, nine total, sentenced to prison for bid-rigging conspiracy the two were each sentenced Thursday to serve four months in prison, with Vaughan receiving a fine of $20,000. Both defendants were ordered to pay restitution by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr.
This BLOG post will be updated on an ongoing basis to update you on who’s paying for their behavior. My guess is probably not enough people and not enough pain…
Public hanging or medieval stockades anyone?
(Does it seem like alot of little fish are caught, but not the big fish? Or the Big Fish got away with a smaller settlement than they should have?)
Note: The multi-Billion-$ 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?
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. Over 4 years and ordered to pay $65,000 in restitution.
CUMULATIVE LIST OF CRIMES & STORIES
The accused used the promise of outsized returns to receive $23 million from at least 25 investors from 2009 to 2015 Instead of investing the money, …she spent approximately $19.6 million to pay earlier investors via Ponzi-type payments, while misappropriating more than $3.3 million for her personal benefit, including expensive jewelry and vacations in Jamaica, Mexico and Guatemala, the indictment states.
Real estate broker convicted for mortgage fraud scheme. Broker engaged in a conspiracy to conceal from mortgage lenders sales incentives that he provided to the buyers. These undisclosed incentives included making the buyers’ down payments and paying kickbacks after closing.
9-22-2018: Real estate guru who defrauded investors to bankroll slasher flick and fleet of Ferraris found guilty. Koerber, who at one time held $7,000 real estate seminars, was found guilty on 15 counts of fraud, including wire fraud, fraud, and money laundering.
7-19-2018: Former O.C. real estate investor sentenced to prison for $12 million Ponzi scheme. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter on Tuesday ordered Esparza, who now lives in Georgia, to serve 78 months in prison and to pay $12.6 million in restitution. Esparza, over a seven-year period essentially ran a Ponzi scheme, using funds from new investors to pay off prior investments.
7-5-2018: Ex-Township Leader to Pay Restitution for Real Estate Fraud . Court records show Jolan Jackson of Grandville invested $241,000 in 2011 with Spencer’s Mackinac Realty Group to buy, renovate and sell homes. Authorities say Spencer used as much as $40,000 on non-business-related items including personal expenses.
Real Estate Attorney Sentenced for Role in Sweeping Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy. He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud banks and mortgage companies by engaging in sham “short” sales of residential properties and was sentenced to six months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $963,730.
California man sentenced for $24 million real estate scheme. Scumbag is ordered to spend more than 12 ½ years in federal prison and was ordered to pay back some $20 million to victims.
Bastrop County official found liable for real estate fraud, violations. Jury hands down $1 million judgment against Donna Thomson
Hey, last year’s story but still applies. Real estate title scams steal homebuyers’ money and dash ownership dreams. Title companies are also being targeted by the scam- with imposters posing as the financial institutions involved in ongoing transactions.Bottom line: when you’re ready to close on a house deal, never release your final payment until you’ve read the escrow packet provided by your title company- and only follow their instructions. And if you get an email about any changes, call your title company directly, using the original phone number from your escrow packet, to make sure you’re not dealing with a title company impostor.
Lockport family sues over undisclosed lead in their house. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy sentenced (real estate agent) Walck on Jan. 9 to time served, a $1,000 fine and ordered her to pay restitution of $53,326.
Real Estate Developer Gets 7 Years for Investment Scheme . A real estate developer from Florida has been sentenced to over 7 years in prison at a federal court hearing in Connecticut. Victim investors lost $28 million, while lenders lost approximately $37 million.
4-9-2018: FBI nets four hackers for stealing customer information from mortgage company. The fraudsters resided in San Diego—but carried out their crimes from across the Mexican border in Tijuana. They also used the personal information for extensive credit fraud, setting up bogus lines of credit and retail credit card accounts to which they charged thousands of dollars for goods and services. to more than 25,000 people at a loss totaling approximately $2.5 million… now serving more than five years in federal prison.
He had no idea his home-buying strategy was illegal, Coast real estate investor says. “Who’s getting this house today?” was a common refrain among buyers. Sometimes, attendees would accept $100, $200 or $300 for not bidding on a house someone wanted.
3-28-2018: Real estate fraudsters to repay $30 million to investors. California-based real estate fraud scheme that raised more than $66 million from approximately 300 investors, many of them retail investors.
3-22-2018: Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Rigging Bids at Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions and was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $1,397,061.59.
3-13-2018: He extorted $15K by making physical threats. Now, he’s bound for prison. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
2-23-2018: Ex-Foley & Lardner Partner (i.e., attorney) Gets 3 Years For Insider Trading and forfeit roughly $453,000 in illicit proceeds
2-16-2018: Real estate investors plead guilty to rigging public foreclosure auctions. Sentencing is set for May 16. The Boykins each face a maximum 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. And the penalty may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
Adviser charged with defrauding investors out of $1 million in 26-year-old real estate fraud. Riquier solicited money from clients and others, a majority of whom are elderly, to purchase property in Rowley, Mass., which investors were told would then be sold for a profit. The complaint states the investments instead were used to purchase property already owned by Mr. Riquier. To date, “that property has not been sold, has not been improved, and has not provided any returns on the money invested,” according to the complaint.
Mesa real estate agent heads to prison for short sale that netted his parents a profit. Facing 3-12 years in prison for defrauding two banks in a home sale at the end of the real estate crash.
Clayton (Missouri) real estate developer, 2 others plead guilty in bank fraud scheme. Sentencing estimated in April – no restitution mentioned.
Real estate company owner faces prison time in fraud cause. Plea agreement states scumbag to spend 7.5 years in prison and pay $2 million in restitution to the victims.
Real estate investor sentenced for rigging bids on foreclosed properties. 16 months in jail, $1,000 fine, and 36 moths probation.
12-21-2017: Former Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Multiple Fraud Schemes….17 years in prison for orchestrating multiple fraud schemes resulting in more than $30 million in losses….had previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. The Court also ordered scumbag to pay the various victims $33,558,407.76 in restitution.
12-20-2017: Georgia Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison for Bid Rigging and Bank Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions….and serve three years supervised release, and pay $81,979.86 in restitution to victims.
12-1-2017: Two Real Estate Investors Sentenced For Rigging Bids at Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions. Both less than 2 years in prison and total of $100,000 in fines.
11-23-2017: Developer sentenced to 10 years in prison on wire fraud and money laundering charges stemming from a plot to defraud investors of more than $2.1 million by building an R.V. park for the state’s emerging workforce of oil company employees. This developer is NOT going to have a Happy Thanksgiving!
11-15-2017: Real estate agent sentenced to prison over mortgage fraud scheme. US District Judge Morrison England Jr. sentenced Arthur Menefee to three years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $5 million in restitution. Resulting from loans for the purchase of properties obtained by unqualified buyers with the help of Menefee, who was a licensed real estate agent. He helped those buyers to prepare loan applications that included false information. He also created fictitious companies to generate false employment and income data for the borrowers to support their loan applications.
11-5-2017: Man Gets 34 Years in California for stealing about $3 million in a real estate fraud scheme. Nothing said about any restitution?
11-3-2017: Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Rigging Bids at Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions. 12 months in prison, plus to serve three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $149,733 in restitution.
10-19=2017: San Diego Business Owner, Arizona Attorney Sentenced in Massive Real Estate Scam. …they fraudulently convinced lenders to make enormous loans against four multimillion-dollar mansions then used forged documents created by one scumbag to make it appear that the loans had been paid off. They got prison time but where’s the restitution of the tens of millions of dollars??? Another link to same story….
10-18-2017: Rip-Off Alert: Crook scams victims out of millions through real estate Ponzi scheme. Vegas scumbag is to serve 35 years in prison and ordered to pay $67 million in restitution.
10-8-2017: Hazleton (PA) Real Estate Scammer Ignacio Beato Sentenced to Prison. Real estate agent sentenced for selling homes he didn’t own. Real estate agent sentenced for selling homes he didn’t own.
10-7-2017: Falmouth Mortgage Company President Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Ginnie Mae. The president and founder of a Falmouth mortgage company pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with defrauding the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) out of approximately $2.5 million.
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.
8-25-2017: 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. .
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..
8-13-2017: 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?
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.
5-6-2017: 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.
4-22-2017: 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…
2-9-2017: 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.
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?
8-30-2016: 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.
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.
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?).
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…)
3-1-2016: 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.
2-24-2016: 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.
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
9-24-2015: <ahref=”http: www.mpamag.com=”” news=”” 20-years-for-20-million-real-estate-fraud-25014.aspx”=””>20 years for $20 million real estate fraud?</ahref=”http:>
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?
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.
7-9-2015: 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.
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
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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.
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!
1-28-2015: 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: 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.
1-19-2015: 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
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.
10-1-2014: 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”!
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)
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.
4-29-2014: California real estate agent guilty of mortgage fraud and is awaiting sentencing and penalties or 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!
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.
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?)
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.
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!)
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.
2021 Real Estate News
(Don’t forget to review 2020 posts of Real Estate News that still is relevant today!
US Homeowners Are Dealing With the Worst Property Tax Hike in Years – The negative effect of increased home values
Senior apartments in Anaheim Hills sell for $87.5 million“Senior housing communities are also strategically positioned to continue to perform despite the pandemic as many residents’ income comes primarily from social security and pensions; therefore, they are not as reliant on a paycheck,” says Carter. “Beyond this, by maintaining affordability at the community, we can provide long-term housing security to residents.”
Although California was one of the top states for outward-bound residents, the Bay Area did not crack the top five exodus regions in the nation, according to an analysis by North American Moving Services and Zillow.
Ask a real estate pro: HOA wants me to ‘stop hanging my flags.’ Do I need permission to display them?
Why Are Lumber Prices REALLY So High? Supply and demand.
HUD Program Offices’ Policies and Approaches for Radon – Policies are needed for multi-family properties, but will policies for HUD multi-family properties transcend into homes purchased under FHA loans?
Why Real Estate Photography is Important – But why condition, schools, and other comparable prices are more important
Legal-Ease: Fourteen magic words in real estate (Hint: “for their joint lives, remainder over in fee simple to the survivor of them.”)
This management alert identified that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is failing to meet basic records management and privacy requirements for over 1 billion records containing PII. Specifically, HUD is unable to identify, categorize, and adequately secure all of its electronic and paper records that contain personally identifiable information (PII).
Roaring 20s: Real Estate Saddles Up for a Seller’s Market as One in Five Homeowners Plans to Sell this Year According to Survey
Due diligence allows buyers to show they are serious in a competitive real estate market – This is equivalent to non-refundable earnest money.
The remainder of 2021 will see mortgage rates increase gradually due to the increase in economic spending. We anticipate mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed rate to get to 3.24% by summer,” “The remainder of 2021 will see mortgage rates increase gradually due to the increase in economic spending. We anticipate mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed rate to get to 3.24% by summer,”
California real estate laws (trial runs for all of the US) – What you need to know about new real estate laws in 2021
Intrusive or helpful? Zillow’s 3D Home app can now use AI to guess the size of your house
Even with low inventory, expect a strong 2021 housing market (Well duh…limited inventory with same or more demand drives prices up…)
And just WHO ARE THE EXPERTS and HAVE THEY EVER BEEN RIGHT? Experts Predict What The Housing Market Will Be Like In 2021
(Note: This page is continuously updated with relevant news throughout the year.)
Liens Against Your Home – In addition to the mortgage(s) lien(s), a property tax, income tax, and unpaid HOA dues lien that could be filed against the value of your home. Be careful what you sign and what liens can be against your property.
Does your local government authority do this? Issue free on-line Consumer Notification Service offered by the Registry of Deeds to protect county property owners against fraud.
Money & the Law: Realtor association agrees to changes – No more steering to higher commission sale or advertise buyer brokers work for “free”.
Could homebuyers save thousands without Oregon’s rebate ban? Lawsuit takes aim at state’s rule – Oregon bars real estate brokers from refunding any part of their commission to customers.REX filed a lawsuit against state officials this November to get rid of the ban, arguing that allowing rebates could save homebuyers in the state up to around $385 million a year.
Sponsored: How does a family halt an agent and broker from showing the home of a relative with early dementia?
Best Down Payment Assistance Programs for First Time Buyers – Don’t forget about NACA
Which real estate brokerage offers the least amount of service to sellers (based on my experience)?
September 2020: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties agent failed to give a Seller feedback on showing…
Coronavirus is clobbering the real estate industry. From a frenzy of flex-office layoffs to big deals falling apart, here’s everything you need to know.
INTERAGENCY STATEMENT ON APPRAISALS & EVALUATIONS FOR REAL ESTATE RELATED FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS AFFECTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS
CARES ACT = Dangerous price of legislation
REAL ESTATE MATTERS: Which documents should you save once your mortgage is paid in full?
This is happening in many areas including Chicago area… Real Estate Market Struggling During COVID-19 Pandemic, With Ban On Open Houses
Any other states doing this? Gov. DeSantis suspends all evictions and foreclosures in Florida for 45 days
Moving during coronavirus: ‘It’s really stressful to buy a home in general. This just felt surreal.’
Should you get an appraisal before selling your home? This all depends on whether your home is very unique, or if you have several similar homes nearby that have sold recently.
Customer or client? Just what are you?
Dear Monty: Who pays the real estate commission? Answer: The Buyer ultimately pays for it in the price of a home…
Buying a Foreclosure? 4 Reasons Why You Probably Still Need a Buyer’s Agent
Listen here for my podcast on this subject blog post.
Highlights from this Home Buying Institute (HBI) housing report:
- Home prices in Atlanta increased steadily over the past few years.
- Forecast for Atlanta housing market – more gains for 2020.
- Inventory is still tight in the area, putting upward pressure on prices.
- The metro area’s population has continued to increase.
What will the Atlanta, Georgia real estate market be like in 2020? Will prices keep rising? Will it be a good year to buy a home in this area?
These are all good questions and the answers are “it all depends”!
Recent data and trends:
- A Strong and Stable Economy
- Positive Housing Market Forecast for Atlanta
- Significant Population Growth Bringing in Home Buyers
- Low Mortgage Rates Give the Market a Boost
- Will 2020 Be a Good Time to Buy in This Market?
Listen here to my podcast about this topic.
The main real estate scams I’m familiar with are:
- Ponzi scams: Ponzi is basically collecting money in a promise for higher rates of returns than normal. Usually, agents, brokers, developers, or others perceived to be a land developer/owner of real property in exchange for your investment, they will return a huge return on your money. The money they collect from each one after you, pays your return until they run out of people to scam, then the Ponzi scheme collapses. But not after some of them collect millions from unsuspecting (albeit greedy and gullible) investors. Phoenix Man Admits Securities Fraud With Real Estate Investment
- email closing funds scam: Pretending or spoofing legitimate email address to be from the closing attorney, lender, or other real estate agent which tells you to send the down payment/closing funds for your residential real estate closing to a different bank account (could be both domestic and international crime). Another example: Homebuyers lose life savings during wire fraud transaction, sue Wells Fargo, realtor & title company
- real estate agent review scam: Fake negative reviews are posted about real estate agents, then the scammer contacts the agent and asks for thousands of dollars to remove negative review…
- filing fraudulent deeds: some criminals either (a) forge a quit claim deed to a home making them owner, or (b) coerce a homeowner into signing the quit claim deed to transfer ownership and then either renting or reselling it before the legal authorities catch up to scam. Three Sentenced for Running Sophisticated Real Estate Fraud Scheme
- rental home scam: criminals find vacant properties on-line (and some go as far as to change the locks), then re-advertise them for rent on-line at “lower than market” rental rate on the home, either asking for deposit to hold the property or even showing up to unlock the house, and demanding you send them cash online or in hand to hold the property…or even charge full deposit with fake rental agreement, hand you the keys, and walk off leaving you to answer to police when owner finds out you moved into their home.
The first sign of trouble that was said in this article was…”she saw it on Craigslist.”
Even though Craigslist has been used by criminals, many other sites are also used…Internet property rental scams happen almost daily.
The article below is just a current example of many that show there are alot of people pretending to own and rent properties that actually don’t own them. They tend to be posting properties in tight rental markets and requiring online rent or application deposit …
Be aware you are exposing yourself to the scam without visitng property, meeting owner or owner rep there; rent price is too good to be true; and/or online payment of rental application fee or monthly rent up front. All are all signs of possible scams to take your money and not deliver.
Even be careful when you meet someone there – can they proved they own the property? Some criminals have been know to change the locks on a property and then can show you inside…
Some possible techniques to protect yourself from falling for these online rental property scams when the rent and location is too good to be true and it’s not listed through a licensed real estate agent, it seems like a super deal, or these other steps to protect you if you want to rent it:
– Ask the person you meet to share proof they own the property. If they represent an owner, they should still show proof they are representing the real owner.
– If you can, arrive earley for any appointment and ask the neighbors on both sides of property if they know property is for rent and if they know the owners or have their contact info and then contact the owners.
– Perform a search on the property tax office of the specific county’s/city’s website where the property is located to determine who the property owners are. Then either search for that owner’s contact info online, or ask the person you speak with on the phone or meet at property if they can provide the owner’s contact info…
If anyone you talk with or meet is uncomfortable providing paperwork proving they own the property or legally represent the owner, walk away with your money before “they” walk away with it!
Source of some information provided in the blog post: 5 Real Estate Scams to Be Aware Of
A Home Warranty is really “home maintenance” insurance policy.
Home Warranty Companies “issue” home warranty policies. These specialized “insurers” charge an annual fee for the “coverage”, and offer service call “deductibles” where authorized, screened contractors are dispatched to resolve household maintenance issues upon your request. Each company offers at least one type of coverage that normally offers repairs for HVAC, water heaters, electrical or plumbing issues.
Despite some recent negative news about horror stories of home warranties…home warranties are good protection plans for some people who like to have one source to call for home service vendors.
Consumer forums are full of stories from angry homeowners who were failed by their warranty providers. The most common complaints from them are: the company not honoring its promises; bad contractors; and avoidance of replacements.
Note: If you can fix or troubleshoot the obvious (a GFCI outlet trips just once & press the reset button or a simple $15 toilet tank flush valve repair), you can save a $50+ service call. Otherwise, call your home warranty provider and get a professional to help you.
(Hint: Whenever you move into a new home, walk around and get to know it a bit – Where are the circuit breakers and are any tripped? Where are the CFCI outlets that will trip when triggered? Where is your furnace and how do you change your filters? Where is your water heater and is it turned onto the proper heat setting? Do your kitchen appliances work properly? All exterior lighting have fresh light bulbs? etc,…)
SOME HOME WARRANTY COMPANY WEBSITES
Reviews of the above and other home home warranty service providers can be viewed at either http://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/ or http://www.homewarrantyreviews.org/, but I have only seen warranty plans from the above companies.
According to many home warranty providers, the highest rate of homeowner claims encompasses water heaters, furnaces and central-air conditioning, while major appliances covered by a home warranty generally start to require servicing at five years of age. Since home systems and large or built-in appliances are acquired during a home sale, there are many unknowns, such as how things previously have been used and maintained.
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.
Real estate transfer taxes – taxes on residential home sales transactions by state and local governments
Update: 10-12-2019: What is a ‘transfer tax’ and other real estate questions answered
This is a renewed topic from my previous 2013 blog post on Transfer Taxes and a more recent article: Opinion The emergence of local real estate transfer taxes
I once searched the reason for Transfer Taxes in the state of Georgia and a former definition I saw on a Georgia government website was a reference that “since it is a privilege to sell property in Georgia, we’re gonna tax you.” Since then, the website has been modified. Also, transfer taxes can be levied at the federal, state and local levels, depending on the type of property being transferred.
In Georgia, the state charges a transfer tax of $1 per $1,000 of sales price (i.e., $300 based on sales price of $300,000) of every residential real estate transactions to one party (either Buyer or Seller – which is negotiable even thought the standard GAR contract states the Buyer will pay the cost, but is still negotiable) of the transaction. Basically, the transfer tax (not to be confused with the Georgia Intangibles tax) is another tax – but instead of just being charged on certain real estate transactions, it’s charged anytime a real property is transferred to another owner.
I’m not sure what the transfer tax feeds in Georgia – it may be that it helps to finance Georgia’s investigations into mortgage fraud or the Department of Banking and Finance who oversees lenders, mortgage brokers, etc.,. Or if it just gets rolled into the General Fund used to pay for other unrelated things…such as golf outings or Christmas parties.
Based on the article mentioned above, local governments are now getting the idea to charge transfer taxes themselves in addition to any state transfer taxes. So far in 2019 about a dozen localities — mostly in high-volume, high-population states — have adopted their own local real estate transfer taxes. Will Atlanta or its metro area local governments start charging new transfer taxes to generate tax revenue? Time will tell.
Here is a list of 2017 Transfer Taxes per state.
Here is the National Conference of State Legislatures NCSL Table of Real Estate Transfer Taxes per state.
The community of St. Helena, California is debating many options to raise revenue for road, sidewalk and park maintenance. One favorable option is a Real Estate Transfer Tax of 1% on the sale of homes. Although I agree that if roads need maintenance, local residents should be willing to pay for that maintenance. But as for the true cost of maintenance and other improvements, it may not be so clear. Please read my post on Sidewalks – do we really need them?
Good luck Frederick, MD, but I think you’re screwed – transfer tax will be implemented and at least the cost is shared equally between Buyer and Seller – in Georgia, it’s charged to the Buyer. Source: http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/business_topics/real_estate/article_e7a50470-7b93-5776-9cff-d71079b6129c.html?mode=jqm
Michigan is challenging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for millions of $ in unpaid transfer taxes on foreclosures and taking their fight to the US Supreme Court. Source: http://www.freep.com/article/20130520/NEWS03/305200113/Oakland-County-vows-take-fight-real-estate-tranfer-tax-fight-Supreme-Court
Five states do not impose this tax – Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
Bottom Line: States, as well as federal and local government authorities are constantly looking for ways they can increase tax revenue to fund operations…the question is, will the proceeds collected cover the directly related expenses that authority expends to administer or enforce related real estate activities, or be just another hidden tax?
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.
The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner licenses and regulates insurance companies; ensures that insurance rates, rules, and forms comply with state law; investigates suspicions of insurance fraud; and conducts inspections of buildings and houses to prevent fire outbreak.
However, here are some detailed duties and resources that may be of interest to you.
Consumer Services Division of the Commissioner investigates policyholder complaints and responds to inquiries from the public. Our goal is to answer insurance related questions promptly and to ensure fair and equitable resolution of disputes involving insurance transactions between insurers, agents, and policyholders. Consumer Complaint Comparisons for Auto, Home, Life and Health Insurance.
Hundreds of Georgia consumers have reaped the benefits of Insurance Commissioner John F. King and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Life Insurance Policy Locator during the locator’s first year. The free consumer tool has matched 3128 Georgia beneficiaries with lost or misplaced life insurance policies or annuities returning $40,798,883 in unclaimed money to those consumers. Check out this link to the Life Insurance Policy Locator Services website to search for unclaimed insurance proceeds. The NAIC link just mentioned can assist consumers in locating life insurance policies and annuity contracts of a deceased family member or close relationship.
Visit the website of the Georgia Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner to research this source of information most Georgia citizens or residents never have seen….
Different Related news topics include the following:
These are cases in any county in Georgia that’s related to fraudulent activity related to any type of insurance – Auto, Home, Life, insurance-related investments, etc… Georgia Fraud Investigation Division made 49 arrests in various cases so far in half of 2019 in Georgia.
The Fraud Investigations Division investigates illegal insurance activities that are perpetrated by companies, agents or individuals. Agentsof the Fraud Investigations Division cover a wide variety of crimes and fraudulent schemes. The Fraud Investigations Division also investigates regulatory and administrative allegations of violations of the insurance code, and thereby assists the Department’s Legal Division in protecting Georgia consumers.
In the first six months of 2019, the Georgia Department of Insurance responded to 5,688 consumer complaints and inquiries, returning more than $3,000,000 in insurance claim payouts to many of these policyholders. In addition to the money returned to consumers with assistance from the Consumer Services Division, the call center at the Georgia Department of Insurance took52,300 calls in the first half of 2019.
The top five categories of complaints from consumers were:
- Denial of claim or delay in claim processing
- Private passenger auto
- Unsatisfactory settlement offer
- Individual accident and health
Consumers with questions about their insurance claim or policy provisions can call the Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1‐800‐656‐2298 or file a complaint online at https://www.oci.ga.gov/ConsumerService/Home.aspx.
Safety Fire News
This category has news stories about Fire Safety news. This link reflects many arson investigations for Counties throughout Georgia.
This link provides Insurance Commissioner issued Directives to insurance companies and official Georgia agencies how to handle insurance claims matters from major storm events and other events affecting all of Georgia and not necessarily any one county. For example, waivers/leniency of insurance premiums due to Hurricane damage; government shutdowns; directions for all insurance companies underwriting auto and homeowner’s insurance in the State of Georgia, what rules all insurance companies have to follow if they sell insurance policies in Georgia, etc,.
These Bulletins issued by the Insurance Commissioner have dirfferent topics such as:
Public Adjusters, Roofing Contractors and Homeowners – Illegal Offers to Waive or Rebate Homeowners’ Insurance Deductibles – Some roofing contractors operating in the State of Georgia are offering to waive or rebate homeowners’ insurance deductibles — Unless you’re a licensed adjuster, you can’t offer to negotiate with an insurance company or file a claim with an insurance company on behalf of insured homeowners. Also, may a licensed public adjuster waive or rebate a homeowner’s insurance deductible? No!
Surcharges & Multivehicle Not-At-Fault Accidents – Addressed to all licensed property and casualty insurance companies in Georgia. O.C.G.A. (Official Code of Georgia – i.e., Georgia Law) §33-9-40 clearly states that “no insurer shall surcharge the premium or rate charged on a policy of motor vehicle insurance…as a result of the insured person’s involvement in a multivehicle accident when such person was not at fault in such accident.” The statute does not differentiate between new and renewal rates.
I urge you to visit the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s site at oci.ga.gov and look around…you may gain a better understanding of fraudulent activity you need to be aware of as well as rules for insurance companies and other contractors to protect your interests as a consumer.