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Avoiding Mortgage Relief Scams

The offers seem like answers to the prayers of a struggling homeowner: A promise of legal tactics to forestall foreclosure, reduce mortgage balances and interest rates, or restore credit.  But these so-called mass joinder lawsuits being advertising in mailings are fraudulent – sent out by companies purporting to be law firms, according to a consumer […]

Three senators introduced legislation to speed up the short sale process.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed the bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on February 17. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the unpaid balance with the lender’s approval. “There are neighborhoods across the country full […]

Few homeowners take advantage of incentive

A pilot program launched by Bank of America in Florida has drawn minimal interest from homeowners seeking short sales.  The program pays up to $20,000 to homeowners who sell distressed properties in a short sale.  However, as of late January, only 60 people have taken advantage of the program.  Bank of America had targeted 20,000 […]

Weekly Fraud Alert: Online mortgage modification scams

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) recently announced that it has shut down 85 alleged online mortgage modification scams that prey on vulnerable homeowners through Web banners and other Web advertisements. SIGTARP investigates mortgage modification schemes in which companies charge struggling homeowners a fee in exchange for […]

Delinquencies Decrease, Foreclosures Rise in Latest MBA Mortgage Delinquency Surve

  WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2011) — The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties fell to 7.99 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. This is the lowest level recorded since the fourth quarter of 2008. The third […]

Foreclosure activity increases in October

Foreclosure filings increased 7 percent compared with September, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac. Including notices of default, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – of which all increased month-over-month – filings were reported on 230,678 U.S. properties in October. Defaults in California, Florida, and Michigan all rose to their highest levels in at least […]


As another major victory for REALTORS®, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it will generally not enforce the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule against real estate brokers and agents engaged in short sales.  Real estate professionals must nevertheless comply with MARS prohibitions against misrepresentations and other laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts.  […]

IRS and CA Franchise Tax Board clarify mortgage debt

December 4, 2013 IRS and California Franchise Tax Board declare California distressed home sellers not liable for federal or state income tax on short sales LOS ANGELES (Dec. 4) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) announced today it received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by Board of Equalization (BOE) […]

Short sale hits credit regardless of cause By Steve McLinden •

The sheer volume of documents, price opinions, people involved, conflicting agendas and other considerations are daunting, and some agents say as few as 20 percent of short sales are successful on the first go-round. The pipeline is slowed by a still-high volume of short sales. The process of divesting yourself of a property this way […]

C.A.R. Open Letter on Short Sales

March 10, 2011 An important message from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®: I write on behalf of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, whose 170,000 members continue to witness the devastating consequences the home foreclosure crisis is having on California’s families, neighborhoods, and communities on a daily basis. The number of families affected by foreclosure is […]