Equifax reveals data breach bigger than first thought

Equifax revealed Monday that the results of the forensic portion of its investigation into the data breach show that the breach actually exposed the personal information of 145.5 million consumers – 2.5 million more than the company first reported.

“I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed that the results be promptly released,” the company’s newly appointed interim CEO, Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. said Monday. “Our priorities are transparency and improving support for consumers. I will continue to monitor our progress on a daily basis.”

Barros took over as the company’s CEO after Equifax’s previous CEO and chairman of the board, Richard Smith, abruptly announced his retirement last week in the fallout of the breach.

Read the rest HERE.

Walk away after a natural disaster?

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey came within a week of each other, and wrought havoc on parts of Florida and South Texas; thousands of homeowners saw their homes destroyed.

While the disaster story may be much the same for both hurricanes, the recoveries could be very different.

Black Knight released its latest Mortgage Monitor report Monday, showing the nearly opposite differences in the FEMA-declared disaster areas in both states, which could cause one city to quickly recover from the storm even as the other continues to struggle.

Before Hurricane Harvey hit South Texas, homeowners in the disaster area held an average combined loan-to-value ratio of 53%, or an average $131,000 in equity per borrower, according to Black Knight’s report. This is the same as the national average, and the lowest for the Houston area since before 2004.

Read the rest HERE.

Would you leave San Diego because of housing costs?

America’s Finest City is often called one of the most desirable places to live in the nation, but many residents think about moving away.

More than half of registered voters in San Diego and Orange counties have considered leaving California because of high housing costs, said a poll from U.C. Berkeley’s governmental studies school.

The poll interviewed 1,200 voters across the state and combined Orange and San Diego counties in one category. It released the data earlier this week.

It said 55 percent of voters in the San Diego and Orange region consider housing affordability extremely serious; 30 percent somewhat serious; 10 percent not serious; and 1 percent had no opinion.

Read the rest HERE.

Housing Overview: The Big Picture

Case Shiller contradiction: Home prices pick up speed despite fewer sales.

Home prices increased once again in July, and even began picking up speed, according to the latest index released from S&P Dow Jones and CoreLogic.

Nationally, home prices were up 5.9% annually to 194.1, yet another new high and an increase from June’s rise of 5.8%, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions.

The 10-City Composite increased 5.2% annually, up from the annual increase of 4.9% the previous month, and the 20-City Composite increased 5.8% year-over-year, also up from July’s 5.6% annual increase.

Read the rest HERE.

Common ways to take title to California residential property

The completion and accuracy of this form is very important. This will indicate to the Escrow Officer or Title Officer how title will be held to the property. ‘How you hold title to your property can have serious tax consequences. It is strongly recommended that you seek tax and / or legal counsel when completing this form’. The Escrow Officer or Title Officer will not be able to advise you on the completion of this document.

Download (vesting-ways-to-take-title.pdf)

Read the fine print

‘Politicians knew it. Bureaucrats knew it. Developers knew it. But homeowners appear to have been offered little to no notification.

Even providing the most basic information in the plat’s fine print was a political fight at the time, Fort Bend County officials said.

“It took a yeoman’s effort because the developers were saying, ‘You can’t make us do that,'” said Richard Stolleis, the Fort Bend county engineer. “It was a pretty significant battle — a high-level discussion — before these were put on the subdivision plat.”

County officials believed the plat’s warning would be passed through the property’s title to every prospective owner at closing. However, many residents said they never saw it. They may have overlooked it or missed it in a stack of documents, or their real estate agents and title workers may have not clearly explained the risk. State law doesn’t require disclosure of such notes, experts said.

Meanwhile, Harris County residents who live within the reservoirs didn’t even get that minimal official notice.’

Read the article HERE.

How to Read a Preliminary Title Report

Once you’ve opened escrow on a property, you will receive a preliminary report. This is an offer to issue a title insurance policy and it will describe the terms under which a policy will be issued.

The preliminary report will include items such as the owner’s name, property legal description, and any exceptions to the title policy. While every property will have some exceptions, certain exceptions must be removed before a title policy can be issued. One example is a deed of trust securing a loan. The loan must be paid in full in order to secure a release and issue a title policy. It is important to review your preliminary report and understand any exceptions or exclusions from title policy.

Your title representative or escrow officer can help you with any questions about your preliminary report.