WE’RE HEARING from Des Moines where two competing real estate companies are engaged in a bitter fight for market share that includes litigation. The parties are Iowa Realty which may be Iowa’s largest real estate company and a national company Keller Williams. In a 29-page lawsuit Iowa Realty alleges that Keller Williams has defamed them, stolen agents from them and some other bad things. Keller Williams had recently dropped its lawsuit against Iowa Realty which alleged that Iowa was not splitting commissions on sales.
If you are a mortgage broker or LO in that area or any area for that matter you depend on referrals from Realtors. In a perfect world you would want to be getting referrals from every Realtor in your area. When Realtors are suing each other for business that is a level of competition that you probably need a strategy for dealing with. In other words you may be forced to pick a side and not remain neutral. Otherwise you will not be getting any referral business. Picking a side may be easy if one Realtor is keeping mortgage loans in house.
An interesting nationwide advertising tidbit I discovered relates to placing online ads at a particular time of day. The idea is to coordinate your ad with a particular time of day that people are online shopping for a home. It turns out that in 24 of 48 states people are shopping for a home online during the normal working business hours of 9 to 5. So much for worker productivity. I wonder how many verification of employment confirmations during the underwriting process find out that someone got fired for spending too much time online?
Meanwhile staying in the Midwest the Indiana Supreme Court just ruled on a case where the Indiana Bankers Association had filed a friend of the court brief. Unfortunately the bank in this case lost. In M+M Investment v. Monroe Bank the state’s highest court ruled that a bank that did not file a form requesting that it be notified of a tax lien sale was not denied due process of law when the tax lien was foreclosed. In other words there goes the mortgage lien and the bank is out a lot of money.
Someone sent me an email in error the other day about a New York residential mortgage loan closing. An example of someone with too much free time is when they raise an issue about the name of the settlement agent on a HUD that failed to include the term “Esq.” Hopefully that did not delay the closing.
Well Halloween is coming soon so here is a story about a haunted house. Remember the Amityville Horror? It was a true story about a grown child that shot and killed his family in the house they lived in. My friend’s brother bought a house on the same street. This man just passed away. The home is very underwater. How underwater? Over $300,000. Good luck to the lender on that one, especially with the haunted house on the same street.
Finally you may have heard that underwriters cannot get mortgage loan borrower’s income tax forms via an IRS 4506-T form due to the government shutdown. Well it turns out that individual tax payers can get a transcript of the actual tax forms they filed. How about underwriters accepting these documents in the meantime provided the borrower does not open the envelope from the IRS? That is my bipartisan solution to the problem.
Based in Chelsea, Mich., John McDermott is a real estate and elder care attorney who represents both consumers and businesses. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.