Independent Foreclosure Review check scams
It’s inevitable that scams would begin popping up surrounding anything foreclosure related. It was only a matter of time that scammers would begin contacting people who were wrongfully foreclosed and lead them to believe they would get money for their ills, but only if they pay an up front fee, of course.
There is no Rust Consulting scam, as only Rust Consulting will contact homeowners regarding their check, and are the only point of contact for the review checks, and all questions should be directed to 1-888-952-9105. Any other mailer, email, flyer, or notice that directs homeowners to another phone number or company is a fake, even if it says “official government business” or lists the name of any government agency, bank, or mortgage servicer.
The Federal Reserve warns, “Watch out for scams. Beware of anyone you asks you to call a different phone number than the number above or to pay a fee to receive a payment under the agreement.”
Additionally, the mortgage servicers that are part of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement are Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. Homeowners that receive a notice in the mail that they will be getting a check, but never had a loan held or serviced by any of these banks, are being scammed.
To summarize, you can spot a fake if:
- If ANYONE requests a fee as a condition of getting your independent foreclosure review check
- Anyone other than Rust Consulting contacts you about an independent foreclosure review check
- If you are contacted by anyone that lists a phone number of 1-888-952-9105
- If your loan was never serviced by any banks listed above
- If you are promised any value above $125,000
Government officials have not reported cases of fraud, but homeowners are most commonly coming forward to report receiving mailers that promise an independent foreclosure review check is pending if they pay the scammers a fee first.
Most independent foreclosure review checks are $300
In March, 4.2 million Americans were sent notices in the mail from Rust Consulting that they would receive compensation as part of a massive settlement reached between the federal government and 13 mortgage servicers, ranging from $300 to $125,000 depending on financial harm by the events surrounding their foreclosure activity, as assessed by an independent third party consulting firm.
Fully 2.4 million borrowers will receive a $300 independent foreclosure review check, and roughly 1,300 borrowers will receive $125,000, with the larger checks going primarily to military members whose illegal foreclosures violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The remaining borrowers will see roughly $500 to $800 checks.
The $1.5 billion of settlement funds were allocated to compensating wronged borrowers wrongfully foreclosed upon after January 1, 2008, primarily as a result of robo-signatures wherein no human reviewed the foreclosure file prior to homes being repossessed, leading to thousands of illegal foreclosures. Many homeowners were either refused a loan modification or the arrangements with the bank were simply missed by the non-existent review process.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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