• Another one bites the dust: Orland Park Re/Max franchise to liquidate

    Re/Max Team 2000 in Orland Park, one of the first such franchises in Chicago, recently filed for bankruptcy.  Team 2000 was started in the 1970s.  A court appointed trustee will help dissolve the business.

    But a new Re/Max franchise located at the Team 2000’s central office has opened in its stead.

    According to the Chicago Regional Manager of the Team 2000 office, a “vast majority” of the 110 agents are continuing with the new franchise. Others have relocated to separate Re/Max offices or have joined new firms.  Team 2000 employees found out just two days before the filing that the business was shutting down.

    Re/Max Team 2000 in Orland Park had listed assets of more than $720,000 and almost $3.9 million in liabilities.  The business filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    According to one Chicago bankruptcy attorney , businesses usually use Chapter 11 to attempt to reorganize and then emerge from bankruptcy; Chapter 7 on the other hand signifies that a business will liquidate and sell assets to satisfy debts.  Without knowing the specific details of the business’s financial woes, it is hard to speculate why Re/Max 2000 would choose Chapter 7.

  • 41 percent drop in mortgage fraud cases

    According to LexisNexis Mortgage Asset Research Institute, reported mortgage fraud incidents fell 41 percent between 2009 and 2010.  The news marks the first reduction in several years, according to the report.

    The report suggests that tightened standards are making it tougher for perpetrators to commit fraud.

    Even with the reduction, the Treasury Department estimates that fraud still accounts for more than $1.5 billion in annual losses to the real estate market. The Mortgage Asset Research Institute’s report believes the losses to be much higher than the Treasury’s estimate.

    “The industry is plagued with vulnerabilities within the origination process that expose lenders to risk,” according to the Institute.

    Florida tops the list with the largest amount of mortgage fraud-it has done so for the last five years.

    Illinois and Michigan were the only two states in the Top 10 of the list that actually demonstrated declines.  According to many Chicago bankruptcy and foreclosure attorneys , the biggest source of fraud involves the mortgage application, where borrowers misrepresent their financial situation or their identity. The second most common area of fraud is in the appraisal or valuation of the property itself.  Short sales and foreclosure follow in droves.