See Who Got REvived!
Cyber Crime Emerges as REvive Hot Topic
Real estate transactions are an easy mark for cyber thieves, and cyber crimes emerged as a recurring theme at the 5th annual Real Estate REvive Conference & Expo last week at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
“My purpose here today is to help educate the real estate agent and the real estate industry on the growing cyber crime that’s affecting the home buyer, the escrow companies and the re agents, and just show how it’s affecting everyone,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Sohn, who agreed to speak at the conference to get the word out to real estate professionals, a favorite target of cyber criminals.
If someone calls to say your phone or utility bill is overdue and asks you to pay now by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, it’s a huge warning sign that the call is probably a scam. The caller will threaten to cut off power or other services and offer an “energy assistance” or payment plan. Once they get your payment information, they use that information to fleece you. READ MORE
NAR President William E. Brown sent a letter this month urging new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to protect the current tax benefits of home ownership, as the Trump Administration seeks to reform the federal income tax system. READ MORE
Last-minute Tax Deductions – Health insurance, ATM fees from a business account, start-up expenses … don’t miss these small-business deductions.
Renters Rule – 52 of the 100 largest U.S. cities were majority-renter in 2015, according to U.S. Census Bureau data compiled for Bloomberg.
New-Home Sales Jump 6% – Sales of new single-family homes continued to rise, to 6.1% in February, says the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau.
Suspicious Activity – The US Dept. of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) renews Geographic Targeting Orders that temporarily require U.S. title insurance companies to identify persons behind shell companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in six major metros, including Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
In Case You Missed It….
Appraisals are crucial to the real estate industry, yet a shortage of appraisers has some worried.
An N.A.R. survey reports that appraisers are worried about the rise of automated appraisals and are not happy with appraisal management companies.
Trump Signs Order to Dump Clean Water Rule
The REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) applauds President Trump for signing an Executive Order that begins to unwind the Obama administration’s controversial Clean Water Rule. The regulation was written by the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to clarify the reach of federal regulators over wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act. READ MORE
One CPA offers a list of questions that REALTORS® should ask themselves at tax time, since many who think they’re doing a good job keeping the books, “often fail to capture all their expenses.”