How Equifax hackers could steal your home – Orange County Register

What’s up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take.

Rate news summary

From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year fixed rate worsened, landing at 3.83, five basis points higher than last week’s 3.78 percent. Ditto for the 15-year fixed, which landed at 3.13 percent, up five basis points from last week’s 3.08 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a nearly 10 percent decrease in loan application volume from the previous week.

Bottom line: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year fixed rate on a conforming $424,100 loan, last year’s rate of 3.48 percent and payment of $1,900 was $83 less than this week’s payment of $1,983.

What I see: Locally, well-qualified borrowers can get the following fixed-rate mortgages at zero cost: A 15-year at 3.25 percent, a 30-year at 3.875 percent, a 15-year agency high balance ($424,100 to $636,150) at 3.375 percent, a 30-year agency high balance at 4.0 percent, a 15-year jumbo (over $636,150) at 4.125 percent and a 30-year jumbo at 4.375 percent.

What I think: After you get done freezing your credit report and screaming out the window that you are mad as hell and you aren’t going to take it anymore you need to be thinking about protecting yourself against fraudulent property title transfers.

Here’s why: The Equifax breach earlier this month exposed the sensitive personal information of as many as 143 million Americans to hackers. Not only is your social security number, driver’s license number and your date of birth probably floating around, the world (crooks included) also has access to your signature if you’ve ever signed a grant deed (property deed) that was publicly recorded.

“Townships and counties nationwide total 3,635 recording jurisdictions,” said Karl Klessig, chairman of Brea-based Synrgo, a nationwide document recording service. “If you’ve recorded a land title through a mortgage or ownership, your signature is in the public file.”

If someone goes into a county recorder’s office with a properly filled out and notarized deed, the recorder’s office is obligated to record the document. Bam! Just like that, you can potentially get fleeced.

“Fraud happens fast,” said Glenn Awerkamp, vice president at Lawyers Title. “Money out within a month. It’s safer than robbing a bank.”

We are lucky in Orange County because the local officials here notify property owners by mail when documents are recorded against…

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