Daily Market Update: Fraudsters take homes without owners knowing

by MPA06 Apr 2015
Scammed! Homeowners lose out to fraudsters
At least fifty properties in Oakland County, Michigan, have been the target of fraudsters who have found a way to take ownership of a home often without the owner’s knowledge.

According to the Detroit Free Press the scam began with overdue property taxes. The fraudsters find homes that are overdue to the point that the council may begin proceedings against the legitimate owner; they pay some of the overdue taxes and place a lien on the home before taking court action to transfer title and then try to sell the property.

The usual target is an abandoned home, allowing the scam to take its course without challenge. Read the full story.
Flood insurance premiums higher as from this month
Homeowners who live in areas prone to flooding will find that their federal insurance policy will not cost them more. From April 1 the premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program have increased by as much as 25% in high-risk areas.

There are also new surcharges of $25 for an owner-occupied primary home and $250 for a second home. The higher charges will affect around a million of the 5.2 million homeowners who need the federal insurance as private home insurance does not usually cover the risk. Read the full story.
N.Y. penthouse discounted by $14 million
Sellers of luxury homes in New York are frequently being forced to drastically reduce prices. One such bargain is a penthouse once owned by the late publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst who, after leasing it for a while, bought the entire building for $1 million.

That was in the 90s and prices have skyrocketed since with the penthouse alone now listed for $24 million – and that’s after a $14 million discount. The current owner of the seven-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home is businessman Benedict Silverman who listed the home a year ago at $38 million.
He’s found, along with many others with high-value properties in New York, that even the super-rich won’t pay crazy high prices in these uncertain times for the global economy. Read the full story.