Our consummate Programs director Hamid Ahmadi introduced Wayne Bell. He said that Wayne was the Real Estate Commissioner for the State of California and recently retired. Among other things, he headed the State agency that licenses, regulates, and disciplines real estate agents and certain mortgage loan originators, enforces the laws regarding the qualification of sale, lease or financing, oversees the Vacation Ownership and Time Share Act. As Commissioner, Mr. Bell had the responsibility and primary authority for the enforcement of the California Real Estate Law and Subdivided Lands Act.
Wayne is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA where he studied political science. He earned his juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and much more. Wayne is admitted to practice law in the States of California and Texas, and in the District of Columbia (currently inactive) and is a member of the bar of a number of federal courts. He is a life-time member of the UCLA Alumni Association and of the Navy League of the United States.
Wayne said that he is happy to be presenting to our Club and wanted to talk about real estate fraud. Many people have bought timeshare and would like to get rid of them. You are inundated with people purporting to be able to do this for you, many are time share crooks. They are scams, a danger sign is when they ask for money in advance. They can’t sell your time share, they are not licensed to do so – not licensed Realtors. They prey on the poor, disadvantaged and elderly. They say they give wonderful deals.
Then there are people who are looking for cheap rentals and those who will do a loan modification for you, they will take your equity and give you nothing. Then there is the scam of calls from Nigerian Royalty wanting to give you money and the one where the IRS is after you. You always have got to act right now and send money-that’s the key to look out for.
STOP-THINK-and TALK to someone you trust, analyze and observe – do a Google search.
Wayne told a story about himself – that in 1988 someone took over his identity and took money out of his bank account. Wayne had to file a report, turn in his drivers license and work point by point and he got his money back – what an ordeal- and there was a story floated that the perpetrator wanted to kill him. Wayne said he never lost his wallet and never figured out exactly how it happened.
The key to not being scammed is prevention. Seniors are targeted because they usually have a nest egg and are often alone. Look carefully into reverse mortgages, they can be a good thing, but make sure things are legitimate. Check out who you are dealing with. Don’t transfer money, you will never see it again. The red flag to alert you is there is interest rates that are guaranteed. You can call the Real Estate Board.
Another sign is if they want you to keep the transaction a secret and, of course, if you need to do the transaction right now. In general, if the deal seems to good to be true- it probably isn’t.
Crooks can put a deed on your home- record false deeds against your property, especially if the mortgage is paid off- so the mortgage company is not monitoring it – sometimes they will use a homeless person’s identity to take money out of your equity.
President Vicky thanked Wayne for his very informative and useful presentation, and mentioned that a book, in his honor, will be donated to the Carmichael Library.