RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Tips to Avoid Mortgage Fraud

February 24, 2016 2:00 am

Mortgage fraud, a crime defined by the FBI as “some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission on a loan which is then relied upon by a lender,” can result in devastating outcomes for victims. Perpetrators of mortgage fraud generally fall into two camps: those in the industry, and the borrowers themselves.

Mortgage fraud encompasses several ploys, including schemes like air loans, builder bailouts, condo conversions, equity skimming, false commercial leases or residential loans, foreclosure rescue scams, fraudulent flip appraisals, loan modification scams, and reverse mortgage and “silent second” mortgage scams. These crimes are complex cons designed to benefit to the scammer, either through profit or housing.

Mortgage fraud does not discriminate—it can affect any one at any stage of homeownership. To avoid becoming a victim, follow these guidelines.

1. Seek out lender referrals from your REALTOR®. He or she can point you in the direction of a reputable professional. Take precautionary measures and compare the lender’s credentials against the information kept by your local regulatory agency.

2. Do not include false information on a loan application, even if another party advises you to do so. Be honest about all of your personal information, including source of income, and confirm that information before signing.

3. Review all other mortgage documents thoroughly before signing them. Don’t hesitate to have a third party review them with you for clarification. Never sign a document that is blank or has incomplete information.

4. Conduct your own research on property records, including tax assessments and title history, before agreeing to the terms of any contract. Look for comparable homes in your area to verify accurate pricing.

5. Be on alert for red flags, such as “no money down” loans. These and other claims are often code for a scam. Do not click Web-based advertisements making too-good-to-be-true claims, and hang up the phone if someone calls your home using high-pressure sales tactics. Do not pay any fees outright for these offers.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Hit the Slopes in These 7 Late-Season Locales

February 23, 2016 2:00 am

Spring appears to already have sprung in some parts of the country, but there’s still a few more weeks left for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the outdoors. Here are the best winter getaways, plus accommodations, for late-season fun, rounded up

1. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Imagine a cosy B&B with all the comforts of home nestled in its beautiful surroundings. Only a 10-minute drive from Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, Au Beau Soleil Bed & Breakfast is sure to soothe the body (and soul!) after a day on the slopes.

2. Big Sky, Mt.
The western stylings of Shoshone embrace the countryside with great views and private balconies to show off the majestic landscape, while placing you just a short stroll from the mountain village and several ski slopes. Also, Yellowstone National Park is only an hour's drive away.

3. Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler Lodge Hostel is full of fun with a game lounge, large open terrace, soothing sauna and a hot tub. It’s less than 2 miles from your ultimate destination, one of the longest and greatest ski runs in North America.

4. Killington, Vt.
Killington Grand Resort Hotel offers comfort and class in stunning surroundings. If you're game to explore more of this gorgeous area, the famous Killington Peak is only a 3-minute drive away.

5. Sun Peaks, British Columbia
It’s easy to mistake your surroundings for the Swiss Alps when you arrive at Sun Peaks Lodge. This quaint chalet provides all the essentials for a spa day and is only steps away from the chair lifts.

6. Olympic Valley, Calif.
Tucked amongst enormous and enchanting trees, Resort at Squaw Creek is one of the highest resorts in California. Step outside to hit the mountain or take a short drive to one of California's greatest gems, Lake Tahoe. No matter what you're looking for, this area has plenty of winter festivities.

7. Winter Park, Colo.
The gorgeous Zephyr Mountain Lodge offers spacious suites with phenomenal fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens. Take a 4-minute stroll straight to the ski lifts to start your winter adventure.


Published with permission from RISMedia.