Question Details

LaCrescentaH…, Home Buyer in La Crescenta, CA

We are bidding for a short sale property. The seller agent is asking for Social security number. Is that required?

Asked by LaCrescentaHomeBuyer, La Crescenta, CA Tue Jan 3, 2012

We would rather not give our social security number, not even knowing whether our offer would be accepted by the bank. Is this standard procedure in a short sale to submit buyers social security number to the seller's agent/bank?

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I could expect a request for this when nearing the closing and see that all the time. But this far ahead? My guess is that he is either getting everything well ahead of time or, more likely, is going to use it to pull a credit report. Perhaps the owner has asked him to qualify buyers. I rarely give mine out - there are too many scammers out there and I keep as closely held as I can. The fact is that it is illegal to use the Social Security number for any purpose other than something which is tax-related. Banks will need it - eventually - as they have to report income. This illegality is largely ignored today and people are becoming conditioned to give their numbers whenever asked. Businesses often use it instead of creating their own unique numbers, illegal or not. Would you give our your password? How would you feel if you learned that someone else was getting your social security money? It may pay to keep it close and not give it out too readily.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
There are thousands of "foreign nationals that purchase property annually without producing social security numbers. To answer your question, nearly anything can be requested but whether or not you are willing to agree to produce it is another story.

In my opinion(non-legal), the extent of a buyers responsibility is to provide either proof of funds or a pre-approval letter that varifies the buyer's validity....anything beyond this I would view as excessive. Ask to see the paperwork requesting this information and perhaps contact their lender on the topic....I like referring them to your lender regarding your financial status.......

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
NO! I can personally see no reason for requesting your social security. However, this is a question your agent should be asking the seller's agent. If, by chance you have not engaged an agent, I would strongly suggest you do so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
The purpose of this is to determine who the buyer is. They want to make sure that the current homeowner, who is in default, or one of their family members, isn't just trying to repurchase their own house at a lower price. Ask your realtor if they will allow you to show proof some other way. Some banks are easier to work with than others, and my cooperate with you. Good luck.

Thank you,
Laura Corey
Guarantee Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
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