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Identity Theft

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

If you could make one person fall in love with you who would it be?

My future ex-wife.

Ask me anything

How much sleep do you get every night?

Not enough.

Ask me anything

Why short sales are not for everyone

By Teresa Boardman, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Inman News™

It has been four years since I worked with my first short sale. I listed a townhouse for a friend and while it was on the market she stopped making payments and I ended up with my first short sale.

The process was stressful for all parties. It worked out, and we are still friends -- which will always be more important to me than a commission.

We got bank approval on an offer after only three months, but the "file" was sold to another institution two days before the anticipated closing, which caused more delays. But it did eventually close.

Personally, I would have come out much better if I charged an hourly rate instead of a sales commission.

Short sales are more common than ever, and I think that is a shame. Many short-sale attempts end in foreclosure.

And even if successful, a short sale hurts the credit rating almost as much as a foreclosure does. As agents we need short sales and they can be good for business. There are classes real estate professionals can take to become more skilled in working with short sales.

Sellers can go through a lot of drama and pain over a short sale, and after months of waiting they may discover that banks can foreclose on a loan much faster than they can approve a short sale. Short sales can be tough on buyers, too. And buyers seeking bargains may be better off buying a bank-owned home -- they could even choose to wait to buy from an investor who purchases, fixes and flips bank-owned homes.

Some of my buyers have ended up with beautiful homes that are almost like new but were less expensive than new construction.

Some agents believe that they are helping people who are upside down and or behind on their mortgages by offering short-sale services. There are sellers who believe that a short sale is a way to prevent foreclosure and that it is preferable to a foreclosure.

Perhaps it seems more honorable to some owners to give the bank some of what is owed than to give them the house and walk away. Either way, their credit rating is harmed.

A short sale may not be the best path to avoid foreclosure, and we should not be selling our services to distressed homeowners as a way to prevent foreclosure -- as that may be the outcome for the owner.

I get calls and notes from homeowners asking about short sales. There are some who think that if they are upside down on a mortgage they can complete a short sale.

In some cases, they can afford the payments but they just don't want to make them anymore. They don't understand that banks may be more likely to approve a short sale if there is a hardship, such as a job loss or a serious illness.

There are sellers who believe that they can get approval for a short sale, sell the home, and then turn around and borrow money to buy another. More than half of the sellers who contact me are looking to sell a home that they have owned for less than five years -- they can afford the payments but they just don't want to.

Homeownership does not come with any guarantees of wealth or happiness, and having purchased a home that is dropping in value should not be considered a hardship.

It has been a year since I have represented a short-sale seller, and two years since I have represented a short-sale buyer. In general, I avoid short sales.

And I don't have any problem with letting others have the business.

Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.

Can Identity Thieves Use Social Media to Make You a Victim?

The short answer to the question above is "yes". The fundamental nature of most people is to be kind, helpful and trusting. Con-artists depend upon it and if you are unsuspecting you are an easier mark. We do live in an asymmetric threat environment and there are many people who want to take advantage of you. The reality of being the object of criminal activity can come from anywhere and rudely shock your existence.

Do you know how to adjust the privacy settings on your computer at the highest possible level when using your social media application of choice? You should. You, otherwise, may be endangering your life as well as your identity or your job. Even if you have chosen to use the most robust security settings available on your program, controlling that which is left on a confidential friend's computer screen is beyond your scope of influence.

A casual acquaintance can snap your digital photograph at a party and post it on the Internet along with colorful comments. Some social media sites are reportedly implementing facial recognition software as part of the software's capability. That should be cause for concern for everyone who is concerned about personal and computer security.

Be aware that once you enter into the totally immersed digital world you are raising your profile. Avoid giving the bad guys information on you that can be blended with other information to launch an attack against you.

There are numerous examples of how social media is used in a dangerous manner. Police officers recently made a DUI traffic stop and found a CD that contained more than thirty (30) Facebook personal profiles. With this in mind you may want to consider deleting any confidential or personal information about yourself. The problem is that once it is "out there" you aren't going to be able to recall it.

A determined identity thief can easily target you and get the information that he or she needs to steal your confidential information from social media. Avoid sharing, for example, information about yourself in multi-user electronic games as well. Many social media sites share the information you create along with the person with whom you have confided.

You might want to educate everyone in your family about sharing confidential information regarding you or any member of your family. A determined identity thief can adjust his or her threat vector to make it more successful with even the smallest amount of information. Avoid, for example, posting your date of birth on social media. Sharing your email address, place of work, whereabouts and other personally identifiable information should be avoided as well as accepting requests to befriend people you don't know. Read what each social media software application advises.

Among the first places that an identity thief goes to harvest information are the social media sites. They represent a large number of trusting and potential victims.

Facebook, to their credit, publishes "best practices" on how to use the application but maintaining a safe presence within social media takes a great amount of effort. Real trouble can be encountered if you are casual about maintaining confidential personal information.

© Alliant Digital Services, 2011

Dr. Perry is the owner of Alliant Digital Services, publishers of the Computer Security Glossary.

Learn more about computer security by downloading Dr. William Perry's FREE ebook, "How to Secure Your Computer" at and click on the "FREE eBook" link.

Dr. Perry is an information security specialist with significant experience as a university professor, author and service provider to various federal agencies.

(((Sign up for Identity Theft Protection with Pre-Paid Legal and Herbie Felton, just follow the link for your protection.))) [information regarding Identity Theft and Identity Theft Shield]

Do We Really Need Identity Theft Protection?

By Jessica K Bates Identity Theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in Canada & US. More than a million Canadians & US residents from all walks of life, including lawyers, judges, even police officers, will find themselves in this very nightmare this year, netting criminals millions & billions of dollars. Identity Theft refers to the foundation stage of acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes. As of January 08/2010, Senate Bill S-4 became law, making it illegal to possess another person's identity information for criminal purposes. But the thieves still find ways and always will. Identity Theft is obtained by technology, mainly the Internet, enables more elaborate schemes, such as browsing, phishing, and hacking as criminals gather information of potential victims. Computer spyware and viruses, designed to help thieves acquire personal information. It has been known that thieves will even go into a persons garbage to obtain information that they can use to gain your identity. How safe is it for you to use your credit cards online or even at the stores. There has been on the news of a device that a person can just walk by you and this device can read your credit cards, drivers license etc. It is getting unsafe to even walk in a mall with friends. Identity Theft victims can experience financial loss and difficulty obtaining credit or restoring their "good name". The emotional and financial trauma can be extremely devastating. Families have split up over this type of trauma. Can you imagine loosing your job because someone stole your ID and committed a crime? How would you explain that to your family, friends, co-worker & boss. See what these people can do to you. Are you ready to defend yourselves against this type of crime? Identity Theft thieves look for the following information and once they get it anything can happen:

  1. full name

  2. date of birth

  3. Social Insurance Numbers

  4. full address

  5. mother's maiden name

  6. username and password for online services

  7. driver's license number

  8. PIN numbers

  9. credit card information

  10. bank account numbers

  11. passport number
Identity Theft protection is one sure way of staying ahead of these thieves and protecting your identity, financial status, privacy, emotional wellbeing. More information on this protection can be found here. Do you want to protect yourself against this crime or do you want to wait until it happens and then try to restore what has been taken from you, and that could cost you plenty of money, time and emotional hard times for you and your family. Jessica Bates has done extensive research on the legal and identity theft protection. and been a professional in the legal assistance area with Identity Theft for quite some time by helping people get the appropriate help they need. I help individuals by putting them in touch with the right people to help them with their problems. I have a very high success rate and the individuals are all satisfied with the results. Sign up for Identity Theft Protection with Pre-Paid Legal and Herbie Felton, just follow the link for your protection. [information regarding Identity Theft and Identity Theft Shield] To learn more Legal Tips! Article Source:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

No. Because they not real.

Ask me anything

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's your favorite pasta dish?

Pizza. Is that pasta? I like beef stroganoff.

Ask me anything

What was your worst travel experience?

Livingroom to bathroom and I didn't make it.

Ask me anything

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jack Christenson Realtors INC. in collaboration with New Hope have come together to provide the community with exceptional Housing Counseling and other services.
Join us for our
First Time Home Buyers Education Classes
Saturday March 19, 2011
(9:30am – 2:30pm)
Jack Christenson Realtors
3845 W. Eight Mile Rd.
Detroit MI 48221
East of Livernois West of Woodward

You are a first time buyer if you have not own a home in the pass 3 years!

We are a MSHDA and HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency Providing “FREE” Homeownership Counseling.

For more information contact:

313-340-0600 Office
313-610-2757 Cell Phone

313-938-1909 Cell Phone

313-393-2959 Office
313-657-6752 Cell Phone

Providing “Hope” for our community…

This counseling is sponsored by Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), New Hope Community Development Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Bank of America Mortgage Corp and Jack Christenson Realtors Inc.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What did you dream about last night?

My dream girl and future wife

Ask me anything