U.S. to Track Secret Buyers of Luxury Homes

Wealthy individuals around the world are always on the lookout for safe and profitable investment opportunities. Some of those wealthy individuals earned that money through criminal activity, and the United States is on the hunt for tax evaders and criminals using shell companies to act as secret buyers of luxury homes. Continue reading

Some Crooked Agents Aren’t Agents At All

Just because they look like a real estate agent and act like a real estate agent does not make them an agent. In fact, they may be one of America’s crooked agents, or just someone posing as one. Some fraud victims learned the hard way that John Patrick Ingar was not a landlord, but a man posing as a Realtor to make a quick buck. Continue reading

Mortgage Fraud Leads to Eviction

Refinancing a home should be a straightforward process. You get a new loan, pay off the old loan with the proceeds, and maybe pocket a few dollars in the process.

That is what nursing aide Imogene Hall had in mind when she needed to tap her home equity for $50,000 to help pay bills in between jobs. The home, which she had bought for $80,000, was now worth quite a bit more, so she decided to use the asset to help her get through some tough times in the bottom of the Great Recession. Continue reading

Some Agents Should Lose their Real Estate License

If someone gets hit with a lock box, the attacker belongs in jail, not on the street selling real estate. However, the Minnesota Department of Commerce decided a seven month suspension was plenty for this dangerous agent.

Not only did agent Bill Bernier, a licensed real estate agent in Minnesota, beat a client with a lock box, he also violated a restraining order and threatened employees of a Saint Paul based inspection company. Continue reading

Are Realtor Lockboxes Safe?

A string of lockbox thefts came to an end when Arkansas police arrested Amanda Tester, an executive at Cooperative Arkansas Realtors Multiple Listings Services. One would hope that a licensed real estate agent would do the right thing, but readers of this site know that not all agents are as trustworthy as they would lead us to believe. Continue reading