Is residential real estate heading for another bubble?

You can Listen to my latest podcast here: Heading for another bubble?

As you can see here on several recent ongoing discussions about Bubble or No Bubble……this topic doesn’t have any consensus….

Housing market is headed for a slowdown say Fannie, Freddie

Realtor Q&A: How high can local home prices go?

Home Price to Median Household Income Ratio (US)

No, we are not in another housing bubble

When Will the Housing Market Correct?

Atlanta Real Estate Market: Prices | Trends | Forecast 2021

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Problems with PEX plumbing?

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.



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Real Estate Crimes including Mortgage Fraud and other Scumbags

Listen to my podcast on this subject: Real estate crimes and other scumbags

Feds charge ex-PUC boss Harlan Kelly, real estate broker and politico Victor Makras in bank fraud conspiracy

Woman found guilty of real estate scam that caused people to lose their homes

Woman sues Victoria real estate agents and company over alleged sexual assault

Former Troy Real Estate Exec Sentenced For Michigan Lottery Scheme

Pending home sales unexpectedly surge higher, as the housing market paves the way for a rebound

High-profile Montreal realtor to be fined $20,000 for breaching real estate code

Texas Officials Stop ‘Fraudulent Real Estate Deal’ By Registered Sex Offender Barbara George

Trial for former Coolidge real estate agent set in October

Potential Scumbag? – Broker In Two City Real Estate Deals Had Undisclosed Contracts With City Landlord

Trio charged with defrauding real estate investors out of $155M

Real estate employees could face felony charges

Real estate developer pleads guilty to wire, tax fraud involving a Daufuskie Island Resort

Real estate employees could face felony charges

California Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids at Foreclosure Auctions

Las Vegas real estate executive charged with securities fraud

Wondering when the hot U.S. housing market will cool off? Look at supply and demand

Last defendants in $1B real estate Ponzi scheme plead guilty

U.S. housing shortage will be around for ‘years to come,’ says Taylor Morrison CEO

2 Men Sentenced to Life for Killing Real Estate Agent

North Carolina man charged with stealing proceeds from Destin real estate transaction

Louisville man pleads guilty to tax evasion involving real estate purchases… structured loan payments on this property to conceal his ownership of it from the Internal Revenue Service and to evade payment of substantial payroll tax liabilities

Raleigh Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Firearm Possession Charges

Raleigh real estate investor pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

Broker Hires Couple To Pose As Home Buyers And Kill A Fellow Real Estate Agent

Ex-Las Vegas real estate executive arrested on child porn charges – A former Las Vegas real estate executive has been arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to police and court records.

SEC charges South Floridians in alleged $9M real estate scam – A Coral Springs man was charged in an alleged multifamily investment sham enterprise that siphoned and misused $2.4 million, with nearly half diverted into his personal account.

DA’s Real Estate Fraud Unit arrests Mira Loma man charged in fraudulent grant deed caseRIVERSIDE – A Mira Loma man has been charged with five felony counts of recording fraudulent grant deeds in a case investigated by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation Real Estate Fraud Unit.

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


PE Firm Founder Pleads Guilty to $58 Million Manhattan Real Estate Fraud Eric Malley, the founder and former CEO of private equity investment firm MG Capital Management, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud for running a real estate investment scam that tricked 335 investors into forking over an estimated $58 million.

Another scumbag story? (40 year listing agreement.)

Cases against Oak Harbor real estate agent resolved – An Oak Harbor real estate agent who had been held in jail without bail is now free after the cases against him were resolved last week.

Miami real estate agent ran brothel ‘spa’ next to a child daycare, investigators say – a licensed Florida real estate agent, was jailed late Thursday on over two dozen charges, including money laundering and deriving financial support from prostitution.

Dog Bite, Car Burglaries and Real Estate Fraud This Week in Parkland Crime

Brooklyn Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Real Estate Investors Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Shimon Rosenfeld, an attorney licensed to practice in New York, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of at least $6 million by falsely claiming he was using the money to invest in real estate opportunities.  The proceeding was held before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.

Local businessman behind real estate pyramid scheme enters guilty plea; faces 20-years in federal prison

hit by a real estate scam that involved bitcoins, wire transfers and Apple gift cards.

Former bookkeeper pleads guilty to embezzling $1M from Charleston real estate company

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

Iowa City Woman Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Charges

Law Firm Bookkeeper Sentenced for Fraud, Identity Theft

Franklin real estate agent indicted on theft and money laundering charges

Indictment Details Charges in Conspiracy to Defraud Financially Distressed Homeowners, Financial Institutions

Real Estate Developer Among Four Individuals Charged in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

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

California siblings accused of listing homes without owners’ consent in alleged real-estate scam

Two people in California arrested and charged in real estate fraud scheme

California real estate agent faces rape allegations in Las Vegas

Claimed real estate investor charged with securities fraud

Third B.C. real estate agent comes under fire in wake of sexual assault allegations

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Investigators Seeking Victims Of Real Estate Fraud Suspect Jaime Gomez Jr.

Victoria real estate agents fired after sexual assault allegations

South Florida family ran a $1.3 million mortgage fraud scam. Mom now headed to prison

Local Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Middle Tennessee Investors To Pay $200,000 To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Regarding HUD Program

Former Echo Housing Corporation Executive Director Sentenced on Three Counts of Theft

Building inspectors, contractor being arrested for allegedly falsifying reports

Man who defrauded Newport-based real estate development company sentenced to 42 months in prison

(same as below)Smyrna real estate agent pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

(same as above) Atlanta-area real estate agents, others plead guilty to mortgage-fraud scheme

Real estate agent among two charged for fraudulently obtaining $91,000

Father and son real-estate developers, 2 others, charged with racketeering, extortion, FDLE says

Idaho man faces multiple charges for alleged Arizona real estate scheme

Berthoud Real Estate Agent Bret Lamperes Charged With Money Laundering

Illinois real estate developer faces fraud charges for “helping” buyers qualify for mortgage loans

Feds say real estate exec duped investors out of $19M spent on Michigan lottery

Bookkeeper gets 2 years in federal prison after stealing $300K, putting local company out of business

Federal grand jury indicts Cleveland real estate developer on wire fraud charges

California real estate developer pleads guilty in money-laundering case

Real estate lawyer pleads guilty to stealing $350,000 from clients, Suffolk DA says

Former Clovis pastor gets over 7 years in prison for $2M real estate development fraud scheme

Repeat real estate fraud offender sentenced to prison in Ventura

Christmas in jail for Vancouver condo developer facing fraud trial in new year

FTC working to shut down companies operating real estate seminar scheme

Three Sentenced for Running Sophisticated Real Estate Fraud Scheme

Settlement signed in Ponzi lawsuits with Jacksonville car fire survivor

Nevada Real Estate Broker Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

Citi pays $30 million fine to settle real-estate violations: regulator

Ex-real estate agent pleads not guilty in Arizona fraud case

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.

A $50k bribe is small change in Boston’s real estate boom

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.

Real estate trust owner gets 51 months in prison for Ponzi scheme.

Real Estate Investor Guilty of Bribing Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office Employee Sentenced

Florida real estate schemer pleads guilty to $1.3 billion fraud. Most victims were retirees.

Judge: Real estate broker accused of striking mother, toddler with car a ‘danger to the community’

Ex real estate agent sentenced for drug theft

Nurse who swindled couple in real-estate deal pleads to felony charge

Ex-lawyer sentenced after scamming real estate clients — again

R.I. woman pleads guilty in fraudulent real estate scheme

Real estate agent to the stars could face decade in jail over $3.6m fraud

‘Plain error’ reduces sentence for former real estate mogul Kelly Gearhart

East Greenwich woman agrees to plead guilty in real estate fraud case

Lawsuits over who should pay buyer’s agent could upend housing market


Con Man Pleads Guilty in $10M Real Estate Scheme

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.

Real estate lawyer charged for fraud of over $1.5 million between 49 victims: police

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

Will Realtors Disappear? What Changes 2019 And Blockchain Bring To The Role Of Agents

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

A real estate developer and an FBI agent charged with bribing city employee

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.

Waunakee man to plead guilty to multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme

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:

Is anyone aware of the website to report Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) violations?

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

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

For up-to-date FBI actions to catch mortgage fraud is

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.



Kendall County Real Estate Professional Charged with Operating $23 Million Ponzi Scheme

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.


Fort Worth con man sentenced to 13 years for bilking investors out of $1.2 million.


CEO in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme Fined $120 Million by SEC.

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.

9-7-2018: East Bay real estate agent sentenced to 6 years for multimillion-dollar property scheme.

8-10-2018: Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging at Online Auctions.

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.

7-13-2018: DOJ: Gwinnett real estate agent defrauded clients out of $22M.

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.


Punta Gorda real estate broker pleads guilty to wire fraud.


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.


Las Vegas Man Gets Probation for Fake Real Estate Filings


HUD Civil Money Penalties, Withdrawals
of FHA Approval, Suspensions, Probations, and Reprimands of mortgage lenders


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.

3-1-2018: Jury finds real estate agent guilty of money laundering.

2-23-2018: Ex-Foley & Lardner Partner (i.e., attorney) Gets 3 Years For Insider Trading and forfeit roughly $453,000 in illicit proceeds

2-17-2018: A man who posed as an attorney and illegally acted as a foreclosure agent has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

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.


A former south Arkansas real estate agent and her daughter have pleaded guilty to federal crimes involving a fake will for a survivor of an oil rig explosion who later died in a car 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.

1-10-2018: Local real estate agent fined over lead paint charge . Served time and fined over $50,000.

1-6-2018: New Jersey Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty to Role in Foreign Bribery Scheme Involving $800 Million International Real Estate Deal.


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.


Real estate investor gets prison sentence in land fraud scheme

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9-24-2015: <ahref=”http:”” news=”” 20-years-for-20-million-real-estate-fraud-25014.aspx”=””>20 years for $20 million real estate fraud?</ahref=”http:>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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:

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8-24-2014: Goldman to Buy $3.15 Billion of Debt to End FHFA Claims

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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!

The owner of foreclosure rescue businesses, US Mortgage Bailout,, 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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:

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.

5-14-2014: You can’t teach an old Maryland real estate developer dog new tricks – and he only going to serve 2 years

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

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

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

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

4-10-2014: Forma “Bawston” aw-torney gets convicted of defr”aw”din’ lenders – gets jail time and rest”aw”tution. Source:

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:

3-26-2014: California scumbag real estate broker convicted of Ponzi scheme related to “rent-to-own” scam – be careful out there! Source:

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:

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:

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:

2-25-2014: California real estate creep gets 17+ years in prison and is supposed to pay $28 million in restitution.

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’?”

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:

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:

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:

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:–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”

1-15-2014: Former Arizona politician to spend 6 months in jail and pay up to $150K in restitution for real estate fraud. Source:

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:

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:

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:

12-26-2013: California Dreamin’ scheme wound up to be $21 Million real estate scam nightmare – sentencing to follow this spring 2014. Source:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

10-18-2013: New Mexico turds get prison and are to pay restitution and fines for wire fraud involving straw buyers for mortgages. Source:

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.

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:

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:

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?

9-23-2013: Two more North Carolina thugs get 5 years and $250K fines for real estate scheme. Source:

9-14-2013: One day in prison and $500,000 in restitution for mortgage fraud – What a deal? Source:

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:

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:

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:

8-28-2013: Maryland real estate agent committed mortgage fraud and is to serve jail time and pay $6 Million in restitution.

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!?

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”..

7-31-2013: Missouri man gets 5 years and is to pay restitution for using straw buyers to obtain mortgage $.

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!

7-24-2013: Assorted mortgage and real estate crimes by people in California with various sentences and penalties…no be-headings though…

7-23-2013: Former Pennsylvania real estate agent convicted of mortgage fraud sentenced to prison and to pay restitution.

7-20-2013: California scumbag gets 15 years and ordered to pay restitution for $2 million Ponzi scheme.

7-12-2013: Another former California real estate agent faces jail and restitution for Ponzi mortgage loan fraud.

7-7-2013: Former California real estate agent sentenced to over 7 years and to pay full restitution – YES!

7-6-2013: The audacity of this Dover dope committing real estate fraud – only gets jail time and restitution.

6-30-2013: Arizona man to be sentenced to prison and fined in September 2013 for mortgage and wire fraud.

6-27-2013: Former executive of Lender Processing Services (LPS) – DocX LLC, gets jail sentence for fraudulent robo signing.

6-23-2013: Tony Soprano and son get jail time and restitution for real estate fraud – “you’s guys are gunna pay””

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:

9-25-2012: California fraudsters get varied sentences and are awaiting restitution decisions for defrauding investors out of $7-20 million. Source:

9-25-2012: Illinois man gets 11 years & ordered to pay >$7 million in restitution for $7 million fraud of investor regarding rehabs. Source:

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:

9-13-12: Two Washington real estate investors perpetrate $13 million fraud using lax bank/mortgage standards. Source:

9-10-12: New Mexico man get 12 years and agrees to pay >$38 million regarding real estate fraud. Source:

9-3-2012: Minnesota real estate agent sentenced to 5 years in prison for involvement in $10 million mortgage fraud. Source:

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:

8-27-2012: Las Vegas Developer pleads guilty to scam, possible 20 years in jail & $250,000 fine. Source:

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:

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.

8-6-12: Like mother – like daughter? Both are going to jail for about 10 years for $16 million California mortgage scam.

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.,0,926661.story

5-16-2012:  California real estate agent guilty of mail and mortgage fraud.  Source:

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:

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:

4-27-2012: Former Iowa real estate broker to serve almost 5 years and pay $320K+ in fines for mortgage & mail fraud. Source:

4-23-2012: Former Florida real estate agent gets 3.5 years in prison for mortgage/mail fraud. Source:

4-23-2012: Ex real estate agent in Pennsylvania gets almost 4 years for mortgage fraud. Source:

4-6-2012: Connecticut real estate attorney gets 2+ years for real estate mortgage fraud.

4-3-2012: Indiana man sentenced to prison and fined>$250K for defrauding mortgage lenders. Source:


3-21-2012: Virginia man pleads guilty and gets $250K fine and may serve 3-20 years for real estate investment fraud. Source:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

5-27-2011:  Two former California realtor “sister” fraudsters had paid people $5K to use their personal and financial information as “straw buyers” and promised to buy the homes back.  They only got less than 2 years jail time and $200K fines. (Note: Small fish in the sea, but fish nonetheless!)
Source:, 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? –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) subpoenas 64  Mortgage Issuers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 News from Access Brokerage, Inc. Real Estate Services

2021 Real Estate News

(Don’t forget to review 2020 posts of Real Estate News that still is relevant today!

MBA Expects 2022 Plunge in Refis to Offset Purchase Gains

Atlanta housing market running out of steam after pandemic price surge

Housing market predictions for 2022: Rates, prices, and inventory

Arizona Real Estate Broker-Investor Sues Everyone for Antitrust Violations


What Is a Living Trust in Real Estate? A living trust is a legal document that makes it easier for you to pass along property, accounts and other assets to your loved ones after you die. It allows your assets to pass along directly to your designated beneficiaries without needing to go through the courts, eliminating the costly and lengthy probate process.

The real in real estate – A lender’s perspective of the real estate market

The housing market is slowing—but don’t mistake it for a crash

Are ibuyers manipulating the housing market?

Real estate Q&A: Can condo owners refuse to pay special assessment?

Yes, We Could See More Housing Market Inventory in 2022

Mortgage and real estate news this week: Fourth-quarter predictions and a scam alert

Why is your flood insurance premium rising after October 1st?

Realtor and Zillow Anti-Consumer Practices Highlighted in Debut of New NBC News Program

U.S. Home Price Insights – where are home prices going?

Common Real Estate Myths That You Need To Know

Flyhomes wants to eliminate contingencies from real estate transactions – fronts you the cash to buy your home.

5 things to know about Evergrande, the Chinese business empire on the brink

Home flipper profits are down, but activity grows

What are my options if my new house turns out to be a lemon?

National Association of Homebuilders offers warning about proposed $2 Trillion tax increases

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap

The National Association of REALTORS® forecasts existing home sales to drop by 10% in the last quarter of 2021.

FHFA Extends the Enterprises’ REO First Look Period to 30 Days

HUD-FHFA Initiative on Housing Supply The effort will focus on entry-level and affordable unit production and “will create, preserve, and sell to homeowners and non-profits” as many as 100,000 units over the next three years.

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Do Swimming Pools Add Value to Homes?

New Texas HOA Act Means Change for Real Estate Owners – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Home Prices Rose Almost 18% in July. Should Buyers Back Down?


The Housing Market Continues To Cool. What Will This Fall Be Like?

Time share for the wealthy!

U.S. new home sales creep up; supply, prices remain constraints

Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore

3 in 10 home sellers admit to using cameras to spy on potential buyers during showings

How rising property taxes are disproportionately impacting low-income, gentrified neighborhoods

15 Things Prospective Real Estate Buyers Need To Be Wary Of Right Now

Lumber prices are falling, but when will consumers see savings?

Huntington Beach man charged with murder, attempted murder in real estate inspector shooting

California Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids at Foreclosure Auctions

Remodeling projects that add value to your home

Democrats Took Millions From Real Estate Interests Before Allowing Eviction Moratorium to End

Real estate, landlord groups file legal salvo to stop Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium

Home improvement/home repairs are still in top 10 consumer complaints in Georgia

U.S. to Tackle Housing Supply Shortage Amid Record Home Prices

Bridge Loan might be solution for home owners who need to sell before buying

Oregon Bans Real Estate Plea (i.e., Love) Letters: Will Other States Follow?

How to Renovate a House

Home builders press Congress to help ease housing shortages

The cost to build or renovate a home is way up. Here’s why and how much

Mortgage and real estate news this week: End of the refi fee, mortgage rates fall and more – Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Friday that it will end the 0.5 percent fee on most mortgage refinances as of August 1. The announcement is a boost for consumers, who are likely to benefit from lower interest rates when they overhaul their mortgages. The fee applied to loans valued at $125,000 or more.

None of it was real’: Real estate scam nearly snares woman

House prices jumped the most in more than 30 years in the 12 months through April.The 15% gain in the benchmark Case-Shiller index over that period “would translate into a wealth gain of $45,000 for a typical homeowner,

These are the cities with the biggest share of homeowners in danger of foreclosure

Metro areaPercentage of loans in delinquencyPercentage of loans in serious delinquencyPercentage of loans backed by FHA
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia17.4%12.8%21%

A new Bankrate survey says 64% of millennials have regrets after buying a home. Many say the biggest problems they face include feeling financially unprepared for the costs of home ownership, overpaying on the sales prices and disliking their size of the home. Millennials suffering from buyer’s remorse in hot real estate market

Selling your home? Here’s when to list your property if you want the highest offers

How Emotions Affect Home Buyers

Mortgage and real estate news this week: Q3 mortgage rate forecast, remodel financing…historically low mortgage rates and unusually strong housing competition

Justice Department Withdraws from Settlement with the National Association of Realtors….[PROPOSED] FINAL JUDGMENT

Supreme Court Invalidates FHFA Structure – the single-director structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was unconstitutional. The Court held that the FHFA structure violated the separation of powers and severed the provision in the law that restricted the head of the agency to be removable by the President only.

FHFA Extends COVID-19 Foreclosure and REO Eviction Moratoriums

Housing Market Outlook: It’s A Seller’s Market, But Buyers Still Have Options

In a seller’s market, experts urge buyers to do these 3 things before placing an offer

Selling your home? Here’s how accurate online estimates are

Why Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan could be a win for real estate investors

Atlanta area among country’s fastest-growing new home construction markets

Homebuyers are growing weary of the housing market

What to Expect After Closing Escrow: Realtor Edition

What is a property title search?

How Are Soaring Materials Cost Affecting Real Estate?

Foreclosure activity to resume in July, some banks say

Are single-agent home sales risky? Study finds buyers, sellers harmed without own agents

Here’s when the housing market will cool off and 5 tips for buying now

So, is this what it’s coming to? 40-year mortgages becoming popular in booming housing market

Surging U.S. housing market faces test as people start heading back to offices

You won the bid — but the house didn’t appraise. Now what? | Opinion

CoStar Group Closes Acquisition of Homes.comCompany plans to combine and Homesnap to offer the best online home buying experience possible by frictionlessly connecting agents, buyers, and sellers

Mortgage Rates Moving Higher After Inflation Data

20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

Existing-home sales fall for third straight month — so what’s going on?

More Than 1 Million Loans in Forbearance Scheduled to Expire in June

Forbearances Rise Slightly as Borrowers Re-enter Plans

Mortgage and real estate news this week: homebuyer regrets, inflation and mortgage rates

Shortages of furniture and home appliances delay transactions

The future of cyber risks in real estate

In crazy housing market, even many sellers think their property is overpriced

US Homeowners Are Dealing With the Worst Property Tax Hike in Years – The negative effect of increased home values

Zillow Group responds to lawsuit filed by Real Estate Exchange, denies antitrust claims

Federal judge vacates CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium

Real estate Q&A: Can the HOA force me to paint my house a color they chose?

Apartment Unauthorized Occupants Can Increase Crime Risk

Biden Proposal Would Close Longtime Real-Estate Tax Loophole

Zillow Group responds to lawsuit filed by Real Estate Exchange, denies antitrust claims

Why many real estate agents recommend working with independent mortgage brokers

New Home Sales Top 1 Million, Setting Post-Recession High

When will the real estate bubble burst? It won’t, says veteran real estate appraiser

The Villages Wins Federal Suit Against Breakaway Real Estate Agents

Legal-Ease: What can the nursing home get to?

Consider all of the costs of buying a home

Selling your home? Here’s how accurate online estimates are

how much can you rely on online estimates, like Zillow’s Zestimate or the numbers offered by Redfin or

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.”

Foreign buyers are moving in on US real estate

Housing market is headed for a slowdown say Fannie, Freddie

NAR Report: Marijuana and Real Estate: A Budding Issue

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.

The Greens Are Overtaking Kitchen Design

Is Residential Real Estate heading for another Bubble?

How high can local home prices go?

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?

Victory For Rates; Hope For Housing Inventory?

Why Real Estate Photography is Important – But why condition, schools, and other comparable prices are more important

Where Real Estate Taxes Are Highest and Lowest

People Are Finally Starting to Think About Selling Homes Instead of Just Buying Them

Renters, and Biden’s $15,000 homebuyer tax credit

2020 NAR-DOJ Agreement Regarding MLS Rules

Legal-Ease: Fourteen magic words in real estate (Hint: “for their joint lives, remainder over in fee simple to the survivor of them.”)

Real estate Q&A: Can HOA close the pool to everyone after resident broke rules?

This affordable housing proposal is short-sighted

Atlanta’s largest residential real estate organizations report 10% increase in sales in 2020

Home buyers and sellers moving away from traditional real estate transactions

February New Home Sales Decline Sharply

Management Alert: Records and Privacy Protection Issues Identified During FY 2019 FISMA Evaluation

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). 

This will contribute to less inventory for first time homebuyers

Hot housing market fuels a rise in homeowners’ equity

Are Young Home Buyers using Real Estate Agents?

Millennials Dominate Buying Market, Generation Z Now Active Buyers, Says NAR Report

Roaring 20s: Real Estate Saddles Up for a Seller’s Market as One in Five Homeowners Plans to Sell this Year According to Survey

Is this a good senior housing alternative, or COVID breeding ground?

Can a real estate agent use your home to stage photos for their use in advertising?

Lumber Prices and Rising Rates Take a Toll on Builder Confidence

How Remote Workers Could Eventually Disrupt Housing Market

Why Are Lumber Prices REALLY So High?

February Homebuying Sentiment Declines, Despite Stronger Job Market

Zillow faces antitrust suit over change to real estate listings

Due diligence allows buyers to show they are serious in a competitive real estate market – This is equivalent to non-refundable earnest money.

What will happen to home prices in 2021 — how buyers and sellers can prepare

Will higher mortgage rates cool the housing market?

Rising Mortgage Rates Could Erase Home Buyers’ Increased Spending Power

Is technology making real estate agents obsolete?

Mortgage interest rates rise: The difference each month between 3% and 4%

12 interview questions for your next agent

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

The Most Common Home Buying Real Estate Contingencies

Intrusive or helpful? Zillow’s 3D Home app can now use AI to guess the size of your house

Household debt rises to $14.6 trillion due to record-breaking rise in mortgage loans

Amazon pledges $2 billion for affordable housing in three US cities

For Sale By Owner: How To Sell Your Home On Your Own

Homebuilders’ confidence slips in January in USA

President Biden’s Tax Plan and the Real Estate Community

Common Real Estate Myths That You Need To Know

Transparency in the home buying process including buyer’s agent commissions

Zillow Group will pay $500M to acquire home touring tech company ShowingTime

Five tips for buying your first home

December Home Price Gains Shot Up 9% Annually

Can a Home Seller Under Contract Still Accept a Higher Offer?

Only 50% of Consumers Think It’s a Good Time to Sell a Home, Fannie Mae Reports

Home sales listings Dear Monty column: Eight real estate agent categoriesto all-time low nationwide

Houston real estate agents caught on tape steering buyers away from homes with less commission

Ask a real estate pro: If the co-signer of my mortgage dies, who inherits the property?

Can a Grocery Store Really Affect Your Home’s Value?

Decoding a home inspection report: What’s included and what to look for

10 Real Estate Market Predictions for 2021

Real Estate 101: Learning new things at eviction court

5 Housing Market Predictions For 2021

Zillow predicts a stronger housing market in 2021

Will we have a buyer’s housing market in 2021?

Rise in cash offers negatively impacts traditional buyers

CRE loan defaults: Where do we go from here?

Zillow Economist on what to expect from the real estate market in 2021

Even with low inventory, expect a strong 2021 housing market (Well duh…limited inventory with same or more demand drives prices up…)

Three Predictions For The Rental And Housing Market In 2021

Realtor.Com Looks To A Strong Seller’s Market In 2021

Real Estate 2020: A Look Back

And just WHO ARE THE EXPERTS and HAVE THEY EVER BEEN RIGHT? Experts Predict What The Housing Market Will Be Like In 2021

2021 Forecast from NAR Real Estate Summit

Real Estate Predictions for 2021: What Can We Expect?

What to Expect From the Housing Market in 2021

Millennials And The Real Estate Market: 5 Trends To Watch

Report: Housing demand expected to surge in 2021

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2020 Real Estate News

(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.

2020 Consensus Forecast from NAR Real Estate Summit

Thinking of refinancing your mortgage? Do your homework before you jump in.

Rise in cash offers negatively impacts traditional buyers

Andrews: Solar power real estate too costly

Sponsored: How does a family halt an agent and broker from showing the home of a relative with early dementia?

Mortgage and real estate news this week: refinancing trends and homeowner credit scores

More people want fences, despite rising costs

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Real estate trends to watch for in 2021

FHA extends mortgage forbearance deadline

What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate Sales?

How Inventory, Contingencies And Financing Play Out In The Current Housing Market

Why you shouldn’t think of a home as an investment

Top 10 Things Your Real Estate Agent Should Be Doing To Sell Your Home

Are We Headed for Another Foreclosure Crisis? 9 Housing Experts Share Their Predictions

Best Down Payment Assistance Programs for First Time Buyers – Don’t forget about NACA

How Much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need?

Higher FICO Scores Indicate Lenders are Being More Selective

Mortgage rates fall again but credit availability gets tighter

The FTC is investigating Opendoor over its advertising practices

A dozen mortgage, real estate pros charged in sprawling scam

Are referral fees doing damage to real estate consumers?

Could this real estate tax be Coming to America?

Here Are The Hottest Housing Markets, Real Estate Stocks In Surprise Covid Boom

Zillow to hire agents as employees for iBuyer transactions in 2021

Almost 400,000 Delinquent Homeowners Have Better Options

Zillow’s iBuying Program Cuts Back on Third Party Real Estate Agents

Do You Really Need A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home Right Now?

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.

Builder Confidence Utterly Decimated by Coronavirus


6 Tips That Can Reduce Real Estate Pros’ Taxes

Mortgage Forbearance Is Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be—Here’s the Ugly Truth

Distressed Real Estate During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Tips for Negotiating Forbearance Agreements

The coronavirus is changing real estate sales contracts. The shift looks permanent

Tips for Real Estate Agents When Working from Home

CARES ACT = Dangerous price of legislation

CARES Act Update: Impact on Commercial Real Estate – Part One

CARES Act is a “Game Changer” For One Real Estate Firm

The CARES Act: Provisions for Real Estate Industry

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


The Retail Apocalypse Is Accelerating

Five reasons why first-home buyers should buy right now despite COVID-19

How To Negotiate an Offer on a Home in the Age of Coronavirus

Any other states doing this? Gov. DeSantis suspends all evictions and foreclosures in Florida for 45 days

Real Estate Is Struggling With a Lack of Data

CFPB Empowers Fannie/Freddie to Overcome Lockdown Woes

Want To Keep An Eye On Local Housing Trends? Try These 16 Strategies

Moving during coronavirus: ‘It’s really stressful to buy a home in general. This just felt surreal.’

Underground market in real estate looming, agent fears

Home Builders Hammering Away but Fear Slowdown Looms

Real Estate Advice For Home Buyers and Sellers

Real Estate Advice: What to expect from a home inspection

Real estate experts: Now is the time to buy or refinance a home launches noise indicator to help home buyers

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.

Understanding Liens in Commercial Real Estate

Is It Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

NAR to Supreme Court: Don’t Hurt Real Estate in CFPB Case

Supreme Court Seems Inclined to Curb Wall Street Overseer

Housing Trends: First-Time Buyers Band Together

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…

5 reasons why every real estate agent should embrace podcasting

So Flo Real Estate Group sued over spam text messages

Joe Biden wants tougher standards for real-estate appraisers to help black and Latinx homeowners

Ways the 2020 real estate market may surprise us

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

Experts predict what the 2020 housing market will bring

Buying a Foreclosure? 4 Reasons Why You Probably Still Need a Buyer’s Agent

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Housing Market in Atlanta, Georgia to Keep Climbing into 2020

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?


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Real estate scams

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 …

‘I didn’t even know a scam like this existed:’ Homes for sale targeted in real estate scam

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

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Residential Home Warranties

Listen to my podcast on the subject of home warranties.

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.

This article heading is a bit misleading… Home warranty may help if you waived your home inspection

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.

Family’s frustration over broken fridge leads to questions about extended warranties

Arizona AG Brnovich accuses home warranty company of ‘false promises’

Why Home Warranties Are Getting Big in the USA

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,…)


2-10 – Home Warranty Information

American HomeShield – Home Warranty Information

Fidelity National Home Warranty (formerly Buyer’s Protection Group…formerly Land America) – Home Warranty Information

First American – Home Warranty Information

Old Republic – Home Warranty Information

Reviews of the above and other home home warranty service providers can be viewed at either or, 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.





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Real estate transfer taxes – taxes on residential home sales transactions by state and local governments

Listen to my podcast here about Transfer Taxes spreading through the United States and possibly through Georgia.

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.


COMMENTARY: Hike in property transfer tax detrimental to Delaware>/a>.

Real estate market slowdown may impact land transfer taxes.

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:

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:

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.

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Office of Georgia Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner

Listen to my podcast on this subject.

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:

Fraud News:

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.

How to Report Suspected Insurance Fraud in Georgia

Insurance News:

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
  • Homeowners

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

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 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.

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

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