Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Tax Fraud

Every year more and more people become victims of identity theft without realizing it. This crime is becoming more profitable for gangs who obtain a person’s information either by stealing wallets, breaking into homes, or businesses. Furthermore, identity thieves can obtain personal information such as home address and birthday from social media websites or by sending emails requesting information pretending to be a bank or government agency.

Millions of dollars have been stolen through fraudulent tax return and the IRS identified at least 582,000 taxpayers who have been victims of identity theft. The information is used by thieves to file online tax returns of real taxpayers to collect the refund on debit cards or checks addressed to places where they can collect them and cash them. Even though the check is under someone else’s name, the members of the gangs have managed to cash them using fake identification made by them as well.

To avoid identity theft you should refrain from posting personal information on social media websites, keep your documents in a secure place, pull your yearly credit report, and most importantly, file your income tax return as early as you can.


Property Appraisals Required for Risky Mortgages

New proposed federal rules will require consumers with high-risk mortgage loans and people whose interest rates are above the average prime offer interest rates, to obtain property appraisals. Since the current Average Primer Offer Rate (APOR) is around 3.64 percent only, consumers with a typical mortgage of 5.14 percent or higher would have to get an appraisal. If the loan amount is above conventional loan limits, a rate higher than 6.4 percent would require the property to be appraised.

To prevent fraud using inflated appraisals, the seller of a home who bought it at a lower price in the six months before selling it will be required to obtain a second appraisal.

The rule is open for public comment until October 15, 2012. The Federal Reserve has posted more information about the rule, including a way to contact the issuing agencies, on its website.

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Tips for Selling Your Home

With the Florida real estate market improving, many sellers are looking for ways to improve the marketability of their homes.  One way homes are made more attractive to potential buyers is through professional photography.  Good pictures can be the difference between receiving multiple offers and contracting to sell your home within two weeks at your preferred price, and a similar unit remaining on the market for five to six months before being listed.  In addition to location, price range and size, photos have been found to be among the most useful features of online home searches.  To ensure your property is being marketed as best as possible, consider the following tips:

–        Evaluate the agent

–        Use compelling shots

–        Choose the right amount of photos

–        Do not do it yourself

–        Pick the best views

–        Give final approval

Providing photographs to help sell your home is only one of the services that may be provided by real estate brokers and sales associates here in Florida.  To learn about what services real estate professionals are required to provide, or what to look for when buying or selling a home or other real estate, please contact Boyer Law Firm.

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Options to Avoid Foreclosure

Defaulting on a mortgage payment does not necessarily mean that your property will be foreclosed. These days, more and more lenders are providing consumers with options to refinance and repay their debts. There are also programs provided by the government that will assist you in preventing foreclosure no matter how far advanced the process is currently. Even a few days before your house is auctioned by the bank, you may still be able to save it by paying expenses, fees, and late charges and continuing to make the loan payments.

It is important to protect your rights. There are other options to avoid foreclosure such as short sale, loan modification or a deed in lieu. At Boyer Law Firm we can help you find the best option to avoid foreclosure and save your credit rating.