Commercial Real Estate Blog by Madison
Tag Archives: satisfaction of mortgage

Real Estate Fraud – “Stealing” a Home

By: Debra Smith, Associate General Counsel, Madison Title Agency

An increasingly common type of real estate fraud occurs when someone impersonates the true owner of real property and does one of two things- sells the home or obtains a mortgage on it.

Typically, the wrongdoer first identifies a low risk transaction. The wrongdoer may look for a home nearing foreclosure for unpaid taxes. This is very easy information to obtain because so much data is accessible on the Internet now. The wrongdoer will then visit the property and confirm it is vacant. The ideal target has no mortgages (or only a very small mortgage) encumbering it.

The wrongdoer will obtain fake identification in the true owner’s name. He may then sell the property to a bona fide purchaser. He collects the net sale proceeds and moves on to the next victim. In criminal proceedings against Maria Leyna Albertina in Brooklyn a decade ago, it was alleged that she had identified and purportedly “sold” 32 such properties.

There are many variations on this scheme. Continue reading

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New York State Mortgage Tax

The State of New York levies a tax on mortgages that are secured by real property. The tax is a percentage based on the mortgage amount which varies by county and city. The two cities being Yonkers and the five boroughs that make up New York City. When a mortgage is made on real property, it must be recorded in the county where the property is located and the proper mortgage tax must be collected and paid to the county at that time. This process is handled by the title company insuring the lender’s mortgage. The tax is onerous and buyers go to great lengths to lessen the pain of this tax. Continue reading

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GFE Disclosure: You’ve Worked Hard For The Deal And Earned Your Pay. Now Keep It!

Common sense dictates that it behooves every mortgage broker/lender to educate him or herself regarding all the charges that might show up on the final Settlement Statement. Loan originators and their processors, however, prefer to keep themselves busy getting clients, getting loan underwriter approvals and everything in between. They would rather get one final quote from the title company on which they can rely. The fact that some circumstances might change or the title work is more complicated than expected is of no interest to them. Continue reading

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