Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

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Home Mortgage Financing

FTC Warning About Growing Home Mortgage Closing Phishing SCAM

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to consumers of a growing mortgage closing phishing scam that could leave buyers with no down payment.

Scammers are hacking into e-mail accounts of buyers, real estate agents and/or title companies in order to access information about the closing date. They then send an e-mail to the buyer and pose as either the real estate agent or the title company.  In the e-mail, scammers will say there’s been a “last minute change” to the wiring instructions for the funds for the closing and instruct buyers to send the funds to a different account.  Of course, this account belongs to the scammers.  If you send money there, you will not get it back.

If you are buying a home and get an email with money wiring instructions . . . do not follow through.  Your real estate agent and/or title company will not ask you to send financial information over an email.  Email is not a secure way to send financial information of any kind.

To avoid becoming a victim to this scam, as well as other email phishing scams, take note of the following tips from the FTC:

Why A Mortgage Pre-Approval Gives You A Home-Buying Advantage

If you are planning to purchase a home soon, the first step should be getting Pre-Approved for your mortgage financing.  

A Pre-Approval, as opposed to a Pre-Qualification, signifies that the loan application has already been taken and that you are approved as a buyer up to a certain price range, so your loan will be subject only to the property meeting the lender's approval guidelines.

Here's why Pre-Approved buyers are ahead in the home buying game:

Mortgage Rates Lower For The Sixth Consecutive Week!

How unpredictable have mortgage rates been.  Most economists have been forecasting that rates would rise, little by little, throughout 2016.  However, so far this year they have been dropping, week after week, and are now hovering around the lowest rates of 2015.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.65% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending February 11, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.72 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.69%.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.95% with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.01% last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.99%.

To learn more, view Freddie Mac's press release at: Mortgage Rates Down Again, Hovering Just Above 2015 Lows