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Protect your property from mortgage fraud (FREE!)

By Michael H. Wasserman

When it comes to identity theft, credit card spending is only the tip of the iceberg. Not only are thieves using stolen information to go shopping on your Visa card, they are scamming medical insurance, falsifying citizenship / immigration status and travelling and using false (your) credentials. They also want to use your information to take away your home—or at least your hard earned home equity.

Recent data security breaches at Equifax  (and who-knows-what other attacks) leave us all vulnerable to these gambits. I recently offered up six steps to take to protect yourself from the Equifax breach…and today, for readers who already own or are in the process of buying real estate, I suggest one more step: property fraud alerts.

Chicago area property owners can and should sign up for FREE property fraud alerts through their local county Recorder of Deeds. These alerts will let you know if any documents affecting your property are filed in their offices, someth…
Recent posts

What to do when drones fly near your home

Imagine a quiet evening on the deck of your new home when—out of nowhere—a noisy drone begins hovering around your property, almost certainly snapping photos or video. It’s like Space Invaders meets Gladys Kravitz. So what do you do?

Cleaner. Leaner. Still generally civil. Check out our new website!

We’ve updated mhwasserman.com to be user- and mobile-friendlier.

From streamlining the look and including reviews to adding photos of our team, we’ve made it easier to help sellers, buyers and brokers understand how we get them to the closing table on time, as planned.

Stay tuned! The new look is just the first step, soon we'll add a real estate resource section, where you will find checklists, links and forms that help simplify the often-complex real estate process.

Check us out at mhwasserman.com.

Questions? Compliments? You can still call me at 312.726.1512—some things haven’t changed.

The Equifax data breach and you — 6 steps to take now

Identity thieves hit a major credit reporting agency—hard. Millions of consumers’ confidential identity information has been compromised.

Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies announced that a massive security breach took place earlier this year. Offenders accessed data sets of 143 million US consumers.

Zoiks! Real estate scams up 480%

by Michael H. Wasserman

You read that right, A 480 percent increase according to a May 2017 PSA from the FBI. Its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Scammers are targeting wire transfers with alarming frequency. As state law mandates the use of wire transfers for most real estate transactions, it's vital that every buyer, seller and professional be vigilant to prevent fraud. Here's what to look for and what you can do to help protect your money - your deal.

Check the Source: Wire transfer fraud typically starts with a "phishing" email that looks ok at first blush, but is a fake. Real-looking but fraudulent emails may contain:

A slightly different email address. It could be just one character off. Or using a correct name but from a free account, like gmail, aol or yahoo.

Legit-looking logos and email footers. Remember, logos can be downloaded from public websites from title companies and banks.

A working phone number for confirmation. So, if/when you call the…

Meet John Aylesworth

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by Michael H. Wasserman I’m so very happy to welcome attorney John Aylesworth to the practice. He joined us in February 2017 and our clients and colleagues have been reaping the benefits of his good counsel all spring and summer. John is hardly new to our practice; He has worked with us on individual cases for several years already. Now that he is with us full-time, we are able to help even more buyers and sellers move through the real estate process with sanity intact. John really hit the ground running this year, so you may have already met him.

John brings a great balance of calm and strength, and has a broad depth of experience in residential and commercial transactions, and new condominium development. He brings a roster of his own clients, many of whom consider him an invaluable counselor and friend, another great sign for us.

Like me, John strives to provide great service to our clients and brokers. He works hard to get contracts to the closing table, on time. J…

Home owners: Stay safe by knowing these 7 features of your home

There are a couple of things ALL home owners should know about their abodes. The wonderful Art of Manliness blog hits this point very well in a recent post identifying spots in the home that every owner should be familiar with for safety and maintenance reasons.  They suggest familiarizing yourself with: Electrical panelWater shutoffsGas meter and shut-offsAttic accessSewer accessHot water temperature gaugeProperty line If you had to, could you find all seven? I can, but I'm not necessarily saying that I really know how or what to do at any of these places, particularly if something is going wrong. Fix a gas leak? not my deal, sorry. Close a home purchase? Now you're talking....  At least I can point these things out to Susan or the repair dude as necessary and that's a start. I'm sure you will do better. Especially after you read this. Here's the report.