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 04, 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 ...
Friday, October 18, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
"We don't want to be treated like children." said industry big-wigs Gary Gold, executive vice president at Hilton & Hyland, and Mauricio Umansky, founder of The Agency. Their complaint was expressed at Inman News's Luxury Real Estate Connect convention in Beverly Hills, and alludes to an ongoing policy debate about off-market and "pocket" listings.
To those non-REALTORS® in the audience, off-market and "pocket" listings are illegal practices committed by unscrupulous REALTORS® to help them sell properties listed by them to their own buyers, denying access to other agents in order to get a commission from both sides of the deal.
Apparently, Gary and Maury want to have them.
Really guys? Then if you don't want to be treated like children, stop acting like them. Keeping pocket listings is both a disservice to your sellers and to your REALTOR® colleagues. You are not acting in the best interest of your sellers, as you are sworn to do. Don't you remember tha ...
Monday, February 11, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
It's funny how criminals trying to take money from the unsuspecting keep finding new technology and digital communications to allow such schemes as wire fraud to fool even the most vigilant victims. Digital crime has grown exponentially as more and more business is transacted via e-mail, text or through other digital communications. According to breachlevelindex.com, the total number of hacks compromised in the first half of 2018 was over three billion records. That represents a one year increase of 72 percent. One crime that keeps popping up in the real estate industry is closing transaction wire fraud. And it can seriously compromise a Hudson Valley home buyer's house closing and bank account.
How it works: The Hook.
Cyber-criminals infiltrate the email of one of the parties involved in a real estate transaction. This can be accomplished by several means. Some use "phishing," getting a buyer, their real estate lawyer or lender representative to take the bait and click on a link ...