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St. Louis Real Estate Search

 

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 – Update

UPDATE Jan, 2013 – Congress approved extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 through the end of 2013.

I first wrote an article on this topic a little over two years ago as the foreclosure rate was rising and borrowers were concerned about where they stood with the IRS with regard to […]

House Bill No. 553 has been introduced to License Home Inspectors in Missouri

For those of you who do not know me, I have been in the home inspection profession for the past 35 years. I have served as National President of ASHI® and have also served on the Examination Board for Professional Home Inspectors. I offer the following comments and opinions on HB 553:

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Can you go to prison for not paying your rent?

My guess is you read the headline, chuckled and said to yourself “no way”. After all, the idea of sending people that could not pay their debts to prison went away over a century ago in the U.S., right? Yes and no….In 1833 the United States abolished Federal imprisonment for unpaid debts and most states […]

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Extended One Year

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it has extended the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to June 30, 2012. The HARP program was scheduled to end June 30, 2011.

This program is designed to help homeowners whose homes have lost value. Through 2010 there have been 621,803 HARP refinances with loan amounts from 80 […]

Brookwood Man Faces 34-Count Federal Indictment in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

A federal grand jury indicted a Brookwood man yesterday on wire fraud and false statement charges related to a more than $1 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Birmingham area, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

A 34-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges SCOTT ERIC PERRY, 34, with 17 counts of wire fraud […]

Feds Propose Rule on Private Transfer Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) back in August, 2010, published proposed “guidance” related to private transfer fee covenants that applied to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks (the “regulated entities). The message in this guidance was that private transfer fees are bad and those regulated enterprises should stay away from lending […]

FHA Condominium Recertification Requirements

Yesterday my wife received a letter from the condo association for a complex she owns a rental in with “OWNER ALERT!!!!!!!” (yes, that many exclamation points) at the top of it in big letters. The reason for the “alert” was to let condo owners know that FHA certification for this condominium complex expired December 31, […]

FHA Extends ‘Anti-Flipping Waiver’

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced the temporary waiver of the “anti-flipping” rule has been extended through December 31, 2011. In my opinion the “anti-flipping” rule was a bad idea to start with and in the current housing market the last thing we need is anything to discourage investors from buying homes so this is […]

Justice Department Settles Disability Discrimination Case Against Property Management Company for $1.25 Million

The Justice Department today announced a $1.25 million agreement with Warren Properties Inc., Warren Village (Mobile) Limited Partnership and Frank R. Warren to settle allegations that the defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to grant a tenant’s requests for a reasonable accommodation. This settlement is the largest ever obtained by the department in […]

Freddie Mac Extends Foreclosure Protection for Service Members Through 2011

Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s largest investors in conforming, conventional mortgages, announced it will delay initiating foreclosure for at least nine months for financially troubled service members who are released from active duty through the end of 2011 and have Freddie Mac-owned mortgages.

“Our military make sacrifices every day to protect our homes and […]

Former Employee of Florida Property Management Company Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

A former residential sales manager at a Florida property management company pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with housing repair contracts for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Justice announced this week.

Benjamin K. Graves, formerly a residential sales manager at West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, […]

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Prime Lending to Resolve Allegations of Lending Discrimination

Settlement Provides $2 Million to African-American Borrowers Who Paid Higher Interest Rates

PrimeLending, a national mortgage lender with 168 offices in 32 states at the end of 2009, has agreed to pay $2 million to resolve allegations that it engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-American borrowers between 2006 and 2009.

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FTC Issues Final Rule Banning Upfront Fees From Mortgage Relief Companies

Homeowners will be protected by a new Federal Trade Commission rule that bans providers of mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they decide is acceptable.

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Mortgage Fraud Case Activity Drops

After surging in the second quarter, mortgage fraud case activity sank in the third quarter based on the Third Quarter 2010 Mortgage Fraud Index from Mortgage Daily. The Mortgage Fraud Index came in at 1007 during the third quarter – falling 41 percent from the second quarter. The index hasn’t been this low since the […]

Consumer Organization to Congress: Lenders ‘Lawless Attitude’ pushes homeowners into Foreclosure

The “robo-signing” scandal that has exposed illegal practices by servicers of mortgage loans has also showed the urgent need to reform a broken system that is plagued with abuses, lacks adequate resources and has pushed countless homeowners toward foreclosure.

That’s the message that Diane Thompson, a lawyer for the National Consumer Law Center, delivered in […]

Mortgage Bankers Cautions Against Cutting Back Mortgage Interest Deduction

Last week the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the group that is supposed to figure out how to rescue our country out of the financial quicksand it’s in) issued a draft proposal of a plan the committee says “will make America better off tomorrow than it is today”.

In […]

Tax Credits Help Homeowners Winterize Their Homes; IRS says check credit certification first

Time is running out to take advantage of two tax credit programs that are a result of the expanded recovery act: The “Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit” and “Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit” programs both offer homeowners the opportunity to receive tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades, but the programs end this year.

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REALTORS® Support Proposal to End Private Transfer Fees

The National Association of Realtors® announced that it “strongly supports” the proposed guidance from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to prevent government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks from investing in mortgages encumbered by private transfer fee covenants.

In a letter sent to the Federal Housing Finance Agency […]

Missouri Voters Protect Their Homes from Transfer Taxes

Dennis Norman

In a loud and unified voice, 83.7 percent of the voters yesterday voted in favor of Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3, the ban on future transfer taxes or fees on real estate in Missouri. In a huge victory for Missouri property owners, this effort, spearheaded, and funded in a large part, by the […]

Michigan couple awarded $600,000 judgment against Worth Township; Proof that you can fight city hall

Dennis Norman

Who says you can’t fight City Hall and win?

Well, it wasn’t easy, nor quick, but George and Margaret Paeth of the Worth Township in Michigan have”beat” City Hall and been awarded $600,000 by a Federal Court Judge. According to a press release by their attorney’s, Daniel P. Dalton and Pauline […]

Fannie Mae Releases Appraiser Independence Requirements

Dennis Norman

Now that the controversial (to put it mildly) Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) has been put to rest as part of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, Fannie Mae has released their “Appraiser Independence Requirements“. Fannie Mae says the purpose of these requirements is to:

Protect the independence of appraisers and the […]

Scorecard on Obama’s Housing Recovery Plans

Dennis Norman

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development today released their “October 2010 Scorecard” on the “Obama Administration’s Efforts to Stabilize the Housing Market”.

The scorecard points out the success of “The President’s housing market recovery efforts” but does point out that “data in the scorecard […]

Justice Department Obtains $120,000 Settlement in Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against Indiana Condominium Association

The Justice Department announced this week that a Munster, Ind., condominium association and its three member board of directors have agreed to pay $120,000 to resolve allegations that they refused to approve the sale of a condominium to an African-American couple because of their race and because they had children. The settlement must still […]

Mortgage Bankers urge Feds not to ban all private transfer fees

Dennis Norman

In a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, John A. Courson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said that the MBA “opposes the practice of private third parties, such as developers, builders, licensing companies and real estate brokers, imposing private transfer fee covenants on residential […]

Wall Street Reform Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) Update

Dennis Norman

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in July,called for HUD to administer and oversee a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP), to provide assistance, for up to 24 months, to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure on their home as a […]

REALTORS Rally to promote a YES vote on Amendment 3

Dennis Norman

I just returned from the Lake of the Ozarks after attending business meetings for the Missouri Association of REALTORS (MAR) which included an update on AMENDMENT 3, the effort backed by MAR to prevent double taxation on Real Estate in Missouri. The “update” was more like a football rally, complete with “cheerleaders” […]

H.R. 4173; The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and what it means to appraisers

Frank Gregoire

My world was much different in the late 1980’s. Although I was in the real estate business and the real estate appraisal profession for a decade, political activity did not interest me. Here at Gregoire & Gregoire, we had already been using a networked mini-computer for appraisal reporting since 1983, but I […]

Attorney Charged in Property Mortgage Scam

A Massachusetts attorney, Michael R. Anderson, 41, of Framingham, was charged last week in federal court with wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury. United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, […]

North Carolina Real Estate Speculator Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging in Real Estate Foreclosure Auctions

A Raleigh, N.C., real estate speculator pleaded guilty to conspiring to rig bids for public real estate foreclosure auctions held in multiple counties in eastern North Carolina, the Department of Justice announced today.

Christopher J. Deans pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenville, N.C., for participating in a conspiracy to rig bids […]

New Rule Proposed to Protect Seniors Obtaining Reverse Mortgages

Dennis Norman

Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular over the past few years with seniors that find themselves with a large amount of equity in their home, but short on cash, or struggling to pay for the upkeep of the home, property taxes, insurance or other living expenses. A reverse mortgage allows people in […]