Brother/Sister team sold homes that weren’t really for sale
OK, now there are some bad players in housing and mortgage finance. Take this Southern California brother-and-sisterteam that was arrested last Tuesday on federal charges alleging they orchestrated a $6 million real estate fraud scam in which they listed homes without the owners' consent and collected money from multiple would-be buyers for each of the not-for-sale homes.
Adolfo and Blanca Schoneke, each pleaded not guilty to nine charges contained in an indictment unsealed after their arrests. The indictment charges Schoneke and Gonzalez with one count of conspiracy, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges Schoneke and Gonzalez found properties that they would list for sale – even though many, in fact, were not for sale, and they did not have authority to list them for sale – and they then marketed the properties as short sales providing opportunities for purchases at below-market prices.
Using other people's broker's licenses, Schoneke and Gonzalez allegedly listed the properties on real estate websites such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In some cases, the indictment alleges, the homes were marketed through open houses that co-conspirators were able to host after tricking homeowners into allowing their homes to be used.
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Still, are we really as bad as this video claims?
Krystal Ball is the co-host of a show called “Rising” that airs on The Hill’s YouTube channel. Normally, the show focuses on the day's political cycle with cutting-edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen.
So you can see that Krystal Ball is a great name for any anchor who is in the “predicting” business. That said, it’s hard to find anything especially redeemable about her recent takedown of the current housing market.
[Watch the show here. 700,000+ views.]
The segment is titled: “Krystal Ball: The Next Housing CRISIS Is Here And The Villains Are Exactly Who You'd Expect.”
The villains, in this case, are: “All sorts of rich people and their financial institutions are buying up homes in our communities,” Ball claims at one point, citing the abundance of cash offers in the current market.
“As a result, home prices have jumped nationwide 16% in a single year,” Ball continues later, “does that sound to you like the type of healthy growth that’s going to lead to vibrant, sustainable communities? Of course not. It’s another disaster in the making.”
A disaster that Ball attributes to the all-cash buyers who, by her count, now make up 1 in 5 home purchases.
And the natural result of all this?
Ball eloquently tells us: “You’ll be doomed to have some private equity goon as your landlord applying their Harvard education to come up with more ways to squeeze every penny they possibly can out of you.”
DOOMED TO GOONS!?!? Ladies and gentlemen of the mortgage market, that’s an official YouTube smackdown.
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More must-read Rise&Shred News in brief!
—> Be sure to check out Dave Savage’s 5 Strategies That Help Loan Officers Work More Efficiently to Manage High Origination Volume
—> Softbank is investing $500 million in mortgage lender Better as the Japanese investing giant seeks to ride a wave of swelling startup valuations.
The investment values parent Better Holdco Inc. at about $6 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. SoftBank is buying shares from the company’s existing investors at a sharp jump from the $4 billion at which it raised money in November. Better is expected to go public later this year, some of the people said.
—> Last week, Rise&Shred reported that Ben Carlson, a blogger for Wealth of Common Sense and a portfolio manager for RitholtzWealth Management published a piece titled: Why this is not another housing bubble.
Independent bank strategist Christopher Whalen also agrees with Carlson, at least on the housing front. In his interesting post, titled As the Economy Surges, Progressive Agenda Fades, Whalen discusses the growing push-back against the Biden infrastructure plan and trillions more in deficit spending comes as the US economy is recovering by leaps and bounds.
“In terms of the economy, residential housing is not the problem,” Whalen states. “The low default rates in most 1-4s other than the government-insured sector suggest there is no credit issue in housing. The Fed is focused on employment and other sectors of the economy, but the bias remains deflationary outside of the overheated equity markets.”
And then later, he adds this point: “In the residential housing market, for example, the number of households using loan forbearance is falling fast, rendering the appeal of pro-consumer policy moves in doubt. If there is no crisis, then who needs a bailout?”
Short answer: No one, really.
OK! That’s it for now, be sure to join Josh and Jacob, with special guest Rick Sharga on the Rise&Shred show, going live soon!
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