Sunday, April 4, 2010

More warnings of mortgage fraud "flopping" and local kid heads to Stanford

* ... HOUSING RISK: Local real estate appraiser Gary Crabtree is once again warning about mortgage fraud, this time regarding a practice known as "flopping." A flop occurs when an agent helps investors obtain distressed properties at deflated prices. Said Crabtree: "A very interesting anomaly was noted last month. The median price of the REO (real estate owned) sales was $130,000 while the median price of the 'short sales' was $120,000. This raises the question, are agents working the short sale market playing games with their BPOs (broker price opinion)? The new mortgage fraud of property flopping continues to rear its ugly head costing lenders and taxpayers untold losses of millions to the 'floppers.'" Lastly, Crabtree said that last month marked "the first month we saw an increase in foreclosures. Could this be the precursor to the 'second wave' of foreclosures causing a 'double dip' in the market? Only time will tell."

* ... STANFORD BOUND: Kudos to Melissa Hamilton, a Stockdale High School senior who is heading to Stanford University in the fall. Melissa is the high-achieving daughter of Dr. Chris and Susan Hamilton, who also happen to be Stanford graduates. And to keep it in the family, older sister Jennifer is a sophomore at the prestigious Palo Alto campus and reportedly thrilled her sister will be joining her.

* ... MORE BAD TASTE: This from a reader who responded to my post about the fake bull testicles hanging from pickup truck trailer hitches around town. "Somehow the lovely bull testicles have escaped my attention - must be  hanging out with the wrong crowd or driving the wrong streets. But enough about testicles. The truck accessory /decoration that is really tacky is the silver nude female silhouette - provocatively posed and one with a devil with horns and the other an angel with wings and a halo. They come in vinyl for your back window (bracketing your 12 gauge) or as attractive mud flaps. Classy."

 * ... BHS ARTS: Yvonne Cavanagh asked me to spread the word on an event that will raise money to support arts programs at Bakersfield High School. Yvonne is not only a BHS graduate but also owner of Surface Gallery, where the event will be held next Saturday, April 10. BHS Friends of Fine Arts (FoFA) is hosting the show, which will raise money for arts, dance, ceramics, forensics and other programs. Tickets are $25 and that includes one glass of wine, appetizers and a live band. Call parent Diana Ripepi at 661-327-5429 for details, or you can visit their Facebook site here.

 * ... BAKERFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "your neighbor moves from the Southwest to the Northwest to be 'closer to the grandchildren.'"

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