Lenders Uncovering Identity Theft in Mortgage Reviews – Protect Yourself!
August 10, 2021
About 14.4 million adults are victims of identity theft each year.
But many may not even realize it until they try to qualify for lending. A financial review by a lender may be tripped up if their identity has been taken, and their homebuying dreams could quickly be taken from them.
“Identity theft is on the rise, and if you don’t pay attention, you could have a harsh awakening when applying for a mortgage to purchase a home,” cybersecurity expert Sandra Estok, author of the “Happily Ever Cyber!” book series, told realtor.com®.
Identity theft can take many forms.
Some criminals steal a Social Security number and then use it to open credit cards or loans in the person’s name. That can ruin a credit score, needed to qualify for a mortgage.
Home buyers should do advance work in ensuring their finances are up to par and have not been hacked, experts say.
“One proactive step to take before putting in an offer, or even before you consider looking at homes, is to review your credit report at annualcreditreport.com or directly with all three major bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion,” Estok told realtor.com®. “Each of these companies maintains a separate report that can give you clues if something doesn’t add up.”
Check bank statements too. Credit card companies offer enrollment in fraud detection programs as well. Often, there is a 60-day window to report any suspicious activity in an account. After that, you may be on the hook for any amounts stolen from your accounts.
Estok also suggests visiting haveibeenpwned.com to check whether your email address or phone number has been part of a data breach. If so, change your passwords immediately.
“Could Identity Theft Keep You From Buying a House?” realtor.com® (Aug. 9, 2021)
Survey: Bidding Wars Aren’t the Big Problem Anymore
August 9, 2021
Many would-be home buyers say they aren’t having much luck in finding a home.
Sixty-six percent of buyers who were actively engaged in searching for a home in the second quarter say they’ve spent three months looking without success.
In the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of this year, active house hunters blamed being outbid by other offers as the most common reason for their inability to make a purchase.
But the top reason changed in the second quarter: More would-be buyers said that high home prices are sidelining them lately, according to The Housing Trends Report, a survey from the National Association of Home Builders.
Thirty-nine percent of active buyers surveyed said the inability to find an affordably priced home was the main reason they couldn’t buy.
Forty-three percent of surveyed buyers said if they continue to be unsuccessful, they will expand their search area while shopping for a home.
Forty-two percent will remain persistent and continue looking for the “right” home in the same location.
Overall, most long-term house hunters aren’t willing to give up. The share who are likely to put off their home search until next year or later has declined over the last two quarters, dropping to 20% in the second quarter.
Home buyers continue to search for the right home, even if it takes more than three months to finally find one in their price point.
“High Prices Are (Again) Most Common Reason Active Buyers Can’t Buy,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Aug. 3, 2021)
Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have an interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.