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Showing posts from October, 2009

Mortgage Fraud still a Growth Industry?

New Report Predicts How, & Where its Happening

We may be done with the recession, but there is still a lot of pain left for the mortgage industry and for property values in distressed areas. A new report predicts increases in mortgage fraud ahead for states with high foreclosure rates. When fraud risks rise, increased foreclosure activites follow.

Nevada has the highest mortgage fraud risk, California Arizona and Florida. Chicago notwithstanding, Illinois risks trail the national average.

An abundance of distressed borrowers, oversupply of foreclosed properties, and relaxed lender valuation guidelines (??) all seem to be fueling new schemes.

Most involve property valuation fraud. A trend towards undervaluing REO and short-sale properties is noted, but most often values are falsely overstated so that borrowers can extract more equity from properties. Increased reports of inflated appraisals continue "with a vengeance", (the National risk index is up 25% in the la…

EZ DEC to debut soon

Cook County real estate professionals will soon need to follow new protocols and procedure in the reporting of property transfer taxes due in their client's transactions. The new EZ Dec system is said to be going live next week, and in the new year, it will become the only way to do so.

Transfer taxes are assessed against just about every real estate transaction. The State, County, and City each levy a tax based on the sales price. In 2008, the City tax was famously increased to give a new revenue stream to the CTA. At present, we file three separate forms - one to pay each transfer tax. Frankly, the process is a collosal pain. The forms each ask for a whole lot of common information, but each form is (predicatbly enough) worse than the next. The County gets all the data it needs in a 2 page form. The State form runs 4 pages. The City's 7. Data idata input is sloppy, often inaccurate. I cannot even begin to speculate how cumbersome it is for the tax revenue agents to unspool…

(Cook County Property) TAX MAN COMETH

The Cook County Clerk's Office has released the 2008 annual property tax rates. The state has set out the equalization factors. Look forward to the County treasurer's letter soon folks. Property tax bills will be due December 1st.

The Sun Times reports that, on average, Chicago landowners can expect to see a collective 6.04 %increase from last year. Across Cook County, property owners will pay 4.2% percent more.

Property taxes are computed using four factors:
A property's assessed value (look it up here.);The property tax rate (check it out here.);The state equalization factor of 2.9786 (aka the "multiplier") up 4.74 % from last year; and
Applicable exemptions (described here)
Homeowners exemptions (available to anyone who lived in the property as their principal residence as of 1/1/08) can vary based on the property's location and any increase in assessed valuation over the three year assessment cycle, but the minimum homeowners exemption increased for the 200…