Thursday, November 12, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
I love it when something old becomes new again, except when it comes to real estate fraud. We heard of a “new” scam involving rentals that puts a creative new spin on an old trick. Years ago, we first ran into this one when a woman came into our Rockland County office asking for the key to her new home rental in New City. We’d never heard of her, or the rental.
She had responded to a fake ad for a real rental placed by the con-man on Craig's List. He told her he lived in the Caribbean and couldn't meet her but he owned the property for rent. He convinced her to send him the deposit and first month's rent, telling her she could view the house only from the outside, and pick up the key at our office. She swallowed the story, telling us, "He's a church minister, such a lovely man." She didn't get the key. Or her money back.
Using Covid to play an old con.
In the new version, scammers ...
Thursday, March 19, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems
We have written before about the hazards elderly homeowners face when taking out reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is actually a loan you take out against your home. You must be 62 or older to qualify, and the amount you borrow is determined by your age, the interest rate and the value of your home.
Homeowners often forget that they still have to pay homeowners insurance, property taxes, and keep the home in good repair. Also, the upfront fees on a reverse mortgage can be quite high, so if borrowers don’t plan on staying in the home for a long time, a good bit of the home equity will go to fees, with very little benefit to the borrower.
One of the tragic things that often comes up is if one spouse is not listed as a borrower on the reverse mortgage. When the borrowing spouse dies before the other, the surviving spouse may be forced from the home to repay the reverse mortgage. It’s sad to see eld ...
Monday, December 16, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
A recent spate of hackers breaking into Ring home security cameras has made us wonder if such devices offer more protection for our home and loved ones, or less. In a video that made the rounds of the national news networks recently, a family in Mississippi discovered their eight year old daughter terrified when a man's voice started speaking to her through the camera, repeatedly calling her a racial slur and saying he was Santa Claus. She screamed for her mother.
There have been at least three similar cases reported this month — the others were in Connecticut, Florida and Georgia. Other breaches, involving Google’s Nest and Taococo, a baby monitor sold on Amazon, have also drawn scrutiny and prompted concerns about privacy.
So far, manufacturers of the cameras have denied that their security cams were at fault, claiming that user's login credentials were too easily guessed. A statement released by Ring said, “Our security team has investigated this incident a ...
Monday, November 4, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
It is estimated that one in five residential loan applications for buying a Hudson Valley home commit mortgage fraud. According to a CoreLogic study, income fraud ? "misrepresenting the existence, continuance, source or amount of income used to qualify for a mortgage" ? was the most common type of fraud the company saw in residential loan applications it reviewed from 2017 to 2018, at more than 22 percent.
Mortgage fraud carries a penalty of up to 30 years in jail or $1 million in fines, and most people think it's a crime committed by a lender. All it takes is a little white lie on a mortgage application to put a potentially put a borrower in big trouble.
Here are five common forms of mortgage fraud, in case you're one of worried about getting a knock on your door.
1. Inflating your declared income.
If you're dying for a certain home but it's just a little out of your budget, it may be tempting to fudge your income to qualify for a larger loan. This is especia ...
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
A report just out from the Consumer Federation of America slams real estate brokers for failing to be forthright and transparent about how much in commission they charge their brokerage clients.
According to Inman News, the nation's leading real estate news service, "The report is based on a survey of 2,000 Americans, as well as conversations with 200 agents located in 20 metros and an analysis of 263 agent and broker websites across four markets.
According to the study, only 32 percent of Americans know an agent’s typical commission, which it claims is 4 to 6 percent of the selling price. Of the 453 respondents who’ve bought or sold a home within the past five years, only 44 percent knew the typical commission."
The CFA maintains that “the U.S. Department of Justice can increase cost transparency by investigating the buy-side commissions to which home buyers do not have access, and it appears to be doing so.”
In our opinion, this report is unfai ...