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The Voice of Orange County

By Michael Caruso | Broker in Orange County, CA
  • Caruso's Fraud Alert!

    Posted Under: Financing in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County, Credit Score in Orange County  |  January 5, 2012 11:14 AM  |  1,307 views  |  No comments

    I came across this information while browsing the web and I just think it is very important to touch on & be aware so that we can prevent this from happening.

    Don’t fall victim to unscrupulous con artists trying to take advantage of unknowing, financially troubled home owners.  These scammers usually promise mortgage loan modifications or reduced monthly payments for upfront fees.  In most case, charging upfront fees or payments for these services is illegal. 

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, these offenders review foreclosure notices in newspapers, the Internet and public files to identify potential victims. 

    Scammers who place ads online, on television, and in newspapers claiming to “stop foreclosure now” and offering “money back guarantees” are suspect and should be reviewed cautiously by the homeowner. 

    Please be cautions & if something does seem right, follow your gut & investigate more. When something doesn't seem right it most likely isn't.


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS



  • Did You Know with Caruso....

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Chicago, Agent2Agent in Chicago, Foreclosure in Chicago  |  September 17, 2011 11:55 AM  |  1,354 views  |  No comments

    Did you know, the Chicago area now has the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes, outpacing Miami, Los Angeles and Phoenix, according to a data compiled by RealtyTrac. Chicago had 118,776 homes owned by a bank or in the process of foreclosure in May. That compares with 86,745 in Los Angeles and 84,600 in New York City- the top three inventories in the nation. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosed properties are selling at a much slower pace in Chicago than most other metro areas. And now you know!

     

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS



  • Home Vacancy Update with Caruso!

    Posted Under: General Area in Orange County, Market Conditions in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County  |  May 4, 2011 12:38 PM  |  839 views  |  No comments


    The U.S. home-vacancy rate, a measure of the share of properties empty and for sale, fell to 2.6 percent in the first quarter as foreclosures slowed amid a lender backlog in processing paperwork.

    The rate, down from 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, is based on 2 million vacant properties for sale out of 74.5 million residences, according to the Census Bureau. A gauge measuring the share of people who own their homes dropped to 66.4 percent, the lowest since 1998, according to the report.

    Property seizures plunged at the end of 2010 as lenders including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. temporarily halted proceedings to review their handling of court documents. That left more homes in the foreclosure process with their status unresolved, typically with their owners still in residence. U.S. foreclosure filings dropped 27 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to the lowest level since 2008 as lenders worked through their paperwork backlog according to RealtyTrac.

    Falling Home Ownership

    The home-ownership rate dropped from 66.5 percent in the last three months of 2010. It has fallen for every quarter since mid-2009, according to Census data. The rate reached an all-time high of 69.2 percent in 2004 as relaxed lending standards fueled home sales and President George W. Bush promoted an "ownership society" in his re-election bid.

    The residential vacancy rate reached a record 2.9 percent in the first and fourth quarters of 2008, the year Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed and American International Group Inc. was taken over by the government.

    Attorneys general across the U.S. and federal regulators began separate probes of the mortgage-servicing industry late last year amid allegations of shoddy foreclosure practices such as robo-signing, or using workers with little or no training to sign thousands of documents filed in support of property seizures without reading them. The investigations were broadened to include all aspects of the servicing business.

    Earlier this month, regulators announced settlements with the 14 largest U.S. mortgage servicers. The companies agreed to review all foreclosed loans from 2009 and 2010, and pay back losses in cases that were mishandled. They also will improve procedures by hiring staff, upgrading document-tracking systems and assigning a single point of contact for each borrower. The banks didn't admit or deny regulators' findings.


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

  • Tips for a Successful REO transaction

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Orange County, Financing in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County  |  January 25, 2011 11:12 AM  |  1,123 views  |  No comments

    In Realtor Magazine I found an interesting poll...

    Have foreclosure freezes or processing problems affected your sales?

     70% of people said yes. Are you one of them?

    Do you have any tips to prevent this from happening? Here are some I can come up with: 

    • Have the proof of funds! If your buyer doesn't have the money to close, it may be best not to make the offer at all. And CASH is still preferred.

     

    • Refrain from asking for an extension on closing. If you don't lose the deal you most likely will incur financial penalties.

    • Make your buyers clear that most property will be sold "as is" and may require thousands of dollars in repairs that they will be responsible for - not the sellers or the bank. Also let them know that you can't expect complete property records. This will prevent any surprises in the process.

    • Know all of your lenders conditions up front to avoid scrambling for documents and signatures last minute. Pay attention to Condo certs as well!

    Competition is high, so coming out as the chosen buyer can be tough. But with patience and persistence you can find your buyer that perfect REO home. 

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Specialist!

    Best Regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GRI GREEN

    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors

    www.michaelcarusorealestate.com

    949-753-7900

  • November Foreclosures at Lowest Level since 2008!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Laguna Niguel, Foreclosure in Laguna Niguel  |  December 22, 2010 10:06 AM  |  927 views  |  No comments

    According to RealtyTrac®, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, the November 2010 report showed that foreclosure filings dropped 21% from the previous month and 14% from 2009.

    November foreclosures dropped to the lowest level in 2 years (sine November 2008)!! Auctions and default notices also decreased significantly.

    "Foreclosure activity decreased dramatically in November, with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving a foreclosure notice for the first time since February 2009," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer at RealtyTrac. "While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10 percent that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmit questionable paperwork."

    Despite decreases, Nevada, Utah, and California remain at the top of state foreclosure rates. Can't wait to see these number continue to drop as we head into 2011! If you would like to purchase an REO property in Southern California, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Source: RealtyTrac®, www.realtytrac.com, read full report here.

    And Thank You for Making Me Your Orange County Real Estate Specialist!

    Best Regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GRI GREEN

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors

    www.michaelcarusorealestate.com

    949-584-2300

     
  • Rebuilding Your Credit after Foreclosure with Caruso!

    Posted Under: Financing in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County, Credit Score in Orange County  |  December 15, 2010 12:48 PM  |  1,233 views  |  No comments

    If you've been through a foreclosure, you may wonder if there is hope for you to become a homeowner again. The answer is yes, but it will take a while. First you'll need to examine what caused you to fall behind on your mortgage and take steps to fix the problem. You have to look at what were the reasons you didn't make the payment. A foreclosure is a major hit to your credit history and stays on your credit report for seven years.

    So, after a foreclosure, your priority has to be rebuilding your credit. You'll have some time to do so, because mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac impose strict rules on how long it will take before you're eligible for another mortgage.

    Here's what you need to do to rebuild your credit to qualify again for a mortgage:

    Pay your bills on time: The FICO score, the dominant credit score used by lenders, gives the greatest weight to payment history, so make sure you consistently pay your bills on time. Stability is the key. You have to demonstrate that you are now capable of owning a home and paying the bills, and have recovered from whatever circumstance caused the original foreclosure.

    Review your credit report: You're entitled to a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three national credit bureaus-Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You should get a copy and check it for any inaccuracies.

    *To get your free credit report, go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com.  If you find errors, dispute them. If you discover old debts, it will weigh in your favor to satisfy them. Paid late looks better than not paid at all. Make sure that debts older than seven years have rotated off your report, as these could be dragging your score down unnecessarily.

     

    Check your mortgage: You want to be sure that you don't still owe anything on your old mortgage. Sometimes proceeds from a foreclosure sale aren't enough to cover what's owed on the mortgage, which would leave you owing the difference. Make sure there is a zero balance reflected, and if you are responsible for a shortfall, make arrangements to repay the remaining balance. Many lenders are willing to settle that "deficiency judgment" for less than what's owed because it's better than getting no money at all.

    Apply for credit: In particular, apply for different varieties of credit. Credit scoring models value having different types of credit. Having some revolving accounts, typically credit cards, and some installment fixed-payment loans, such as a car payment, can improve your score. But don't apply for too much credit at once because this can appear as though you're desperate for credit and perhaps make lenders less inclined to extend credit to you.

    Don't fall prey: Watch out for credit repair companies that promise to clean up your credit report so you can get a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, or even a job-after paying a fee for the service. The truth is, that no one can remove accurate, negative information from your credit report, according to the Federal Trade Commission. It's illegal. Only the passage of time can assure that negative, but accurate, information on your credit report will be removed.

    When it comes to repairing your credit, there are no quick fixes, the experts say. What lenders want to see is responsible financial behavior over time.

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

  • What is Robo-Signing?

    Posted Under: Financing in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County, Credit Score in Orange County  |  December 8, 2010 11:05 AM  |  1,174 views  |  1 comment

    Recently I have heard about news that has been on foreclosure overload with recent actions by government and lenders alike bearing down on the mortgage foreclosure freezes, investigations, suspensions and lately court cases all centered on a dubious practice called 'Robo-Signing.'

    WHAT IS ROBO-SIGNING?
    Robo-signing, a term coined back in 1999 by consumer and investor advocate Nye Lavalle, to describe the automatic generation of documents. One document processor has represented that she "robo-signed" more than 2,000 a day (one every 13 seconds), making it impossible to verify any material fact in the document let alone the file.

    FORECLOSURES
    Most recently, attention has been focused on the mortgage lending industry; specifically the larger lenders such as JP Morgan and Bank of America have suspended mortgage foreclosures in over 23 states. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also suspended foreclosure processes until they can assess and regain control.
    Here the term robo-signing applies to the practice of mass processing and signing off foreclosure documents with little or no oversight resulting in hundreds, possibly thousands of homeowners losing their homes through incomplete or inaccurate documentation. It has quickly grown to a disaster of epic proportions. The process had gotten so egregious that in many cases the robo-signed documents and affidavits (some inaccurate) were not even notarized until weeks or months later. There are cases where mortgages have been processed that are not delinquent and mortgage loans that the lenders/servicers don't even own. A majority of lenders acknowledge the serious but believe most of the documents in the process will prove valid. So, the current scandal has caused a delay to the foreclosure process but it is not a reprieve. However, it is giving households some time to straighten out their financial commitments.

    DEBT COLLECTION
    Now, firms that buy debts are coming under scrutiny as the flood of delinquent consumer and commercial debt make it through the collection process. Courts require that anyone submitting an affidavit to a court against a debtor must have proof of that claim - proper documentation of a debt's origins, history and amount. Without this information it is doubtful the documentation meets the legal standard of due diligence. Many of these debt-buying companies take the facts at face value, retaining little more than basic databases on the creditor and the debt.

    In the current credit, debt and collection environment it is emphatic that the consumer be aware.

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

 
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