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Safeguarding buyers of immovable property
Financial Gazette - Zimbabwe
The dream of having a home of one's own or a valuable piece of land or be it any other immovable property is cherished by any sane adult because of the present sense of ownership arising out of humanity's need for shelter.

It is undoubtable that shelter is a fundamental requirement not only for a dignified, but also for a comfortable and hazard free human existence. Zimbabweans are therefore seen toiling, some in far away lands, to fulfil their lifetime dream of having a decent home for themselves and their families.

It is however unfortunate that some individuals with criminal motives and under cover of dealing in immovable property are unjustly and illegally enriching themselves at the expense of desperate home-seekers, thereby shattering other people's dreams of owning a home.
Financial Gazette

Stealing the family home
Daily Telegraph - Australia
Homeowners are falling victim to a new style of fraud that involves their properties being re-mortgaged without their knowledge by conmen using fake title documents.

Mortgage fraud is reportedly costing the Australian banking industry more than $250 million a year - and experts predict existing banking customers will be hit by higher repayments and increased fees as lenders claw back losses.
"There has been an increasing number of instances of mortgage fraud," Law Society of NSW president-elect John McIntyre said.
Daily Telegraph

Paperless mortgage closing saves time and money
Herald Net - USA
While "time is of the essence" often is a critical phrase in real estate transactions, it takes on different connotations for seniors and consumers with disabilities.

Some seniors simply cannot get up and race down to the local escrow office and sign on the dotted line. Often, trips take considerable preparation and a series of events that can swallow an entire afternoon.
Herald Net

Mortgage brokers' commissions get close eye from banks
Fairfax - New Zealand
Some of the big banks are putting mortgage brokers' commissions under scrutiny as they continue to battle for bigger shares in the home loan market. ANZ National Bank chief operating officer Steven Fyfe said home loan margins had fallen 1/3 in the past five years, but brokers' fees had not followed suit.
"There has to be a correlation. Brokers are expecting it," he said, noting the bank was in talks with brokers about bringing their commissions into line with margins.
Mr Fyfe's comments come during a price war in the two-year fixed home loan market.

BNZ launched an "unbeatable" campaign on October 11 and says it has lower costs than rivals because it stopped using mortgage brokers and paying their commissions in May 2003. Broker costs can be nearly 1 per cent of total loan values.

Estate agents get clobbered
Moneyweb - South Africa
In a move that will leave aggrieved property consumers jubilant, the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed a consent order agreement between the Competition Commission and the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA), in which the institute agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R522 400 for indirectly fixing selling prices for agents.

Price fixing by competitors (agents) deprives consumers of competitive prices and often leads to higher property transaction costs. The Commission initiated a complaint into the activities of the institute as a result of the publication of a tariff book in which it (the institute) recommended a 7,5% commission on the selling price of houses, semi-detached units, residential sectional title and share-block units.

Properties may be frozen - judgment
Daily Dispatch - South Africa
East London - A landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein involving Buffalo City Municipality has opened the door for municipalities to freeze ownership of properties until the provincial premier decides whether or not to expropriate.
Properties can be frozen without consulting owners.

"This is the effect of the ruling by Appeal Court Judge Bob Nugent, with which four other judges concurred, and which said that a municipality can expropriate property by issuing a preliminary notice of intention," said local attorney Mike Chubb of Bate Chubb & Dickson Inc, who represented Buffalo City Municipality. The Daily Dispatch reported in September 1999 that local industrialist Willie Gauss received a cheque for R60000 from the council and was told to vacate his Gonubie farm in 60 days.
Daily Dispatch

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