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Showing posts from January 15, 2008

Market Slow Down? Recession? Not for the FBI, anyway

I posted last week about concerns that arson claims will increase as borrowers fall behind on their mortgages. Looks like that they aren't the only scammers out there....

The FBI has announced that mortgage fraud investigations tripled during the last fiscal year compared to 2003. Conviction rates may not be holding pace (they doubled in 2007). Fear not, Financial crimes section cheif Sharon Ormsby predicts that the number will likely rise this year.

The prime growth areas in this field? what else but sub-prime/distressed borrower situations and reverse mortgages held by senior citizens.

Source: Donna Leinwand, USA Today (01/14/08)

the 4 most dangerous words your loan officer will ever tell you: "Your Loan is Approved"

Most loan officers I work with are nice people. They are hard working. They are well intentioned. They want to make loans for the buyers they work with. Turns out however, that many of them speak an entirely different sort of English than the rest of us.


When your friendly loan officer assures that "your loan is approved," she does not necessarily mean that you are going to get your loan. "Approved" does not mean "Approved!" weird, huh?

Most Buyers who hear this however are willing to take the Loan Officer at his work and they direct me to waive their mortgage financing contingencies. BAD MISTAKE.

Two or three weeks later, when that same loan officer tells those same buyers that the underwriter denied their loans, it is too late. The protection of that contract provision is long gone and, in the worst of situations, so it that Buyer's earnest money and dream of buying that dream home.

The loan officers, like D-Day in the 1978 Film Classic, Animal Hous…

Save Public Transportation -> Buy a House !

Until this morning, few of us would have made a direct connection between the funding of public transportation in the metropolitan Chicago area and real estate conveyancing.

But now the link has been established and it spells bad news for anyone wanting to buy or sell real estate in the City of Chicago. Buyers about to absorb the brunt of yet another closing cost increase; a possible (likely) 40% increase in the amount of the City of Chicago Real Property Transfer Tax.

With just five days left until the 3rd public transit funding "doomsday" in the last six months, the cat has finally jumped out of the bag. This morning, we all woke to the news that the proposed transit "bail out" will be funded by a combination of local county sales tax increases, state general funds, and that transfer tax increase.

Never mind that the transfer tax is levied by a completely different body of government - the City of Chicago and not the State. We must all prepare for the coming reali…