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Marietta employees sentenced for Section 8 fraud

Marietta employees sentenced for Section 8 fraud

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Two former City of Marietta employees are among four people charged with stealing from the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The program, also known as Section 8, helps low-income families pay their rent. Shantel Bowens and Debbie Bailey worked for Marietta's Housing Choice Voucher Program, which oversees local tenant and landlord participation.

Bowens and Bailey pleaded guilty in July and May, respectively, to conspiring with two landlords to steal money from the program.

According to federal prosecutors, Bowens, 43, of Atlanta, reactivated the closed accounts of former Section 8 tenants. She then altered computer records to link the tenants to two co-defendants, landlords Babatunde "Babs" Abass and Tunji "Chris" Imoukhuede.

Clean up the mess! $60 = 2 HRS of Home Organization by Drab to Fab Organizing ($120 value)

Clean up the mess! $60 = 2 HRS of Home Organization by Drab to Fab Organizing ($120 value)

Has it been months since you've seen the surface of your dining room table? Can the kids find their homework? Do you have boxes and bags filled with things you need to return, but can't find the receipt?

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's foreclosure rate slowed by the middle of 2011, but remains among the metros with the highest rates.

Atlanta had 44,1560 foreclosure filings from January through June, down about 16 percent from the first half of 2010. This gave Atlanta the 16th highest rate of foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac, which publishes the largest list of foreclosures in the country.

The company defines a foreclosure as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. 

Real Estate has a Long Road to Recovery

 

The next years of real estate are not going to be positive for homeowners. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2012 over 60% of all home sales will be foreclosures or short sales. This means that the banks will control the pricing of more than half the real estate market and we can expect continued declining values. This idea may not sit well with many after the mortgage meltdown and moral hazard issues we had over the past five years.

Further, we at Sellect Realty believe that it will be another five to seven years before we see home values near their previous peaks and then we expect a plateau for several years to follow before growth. Currently our market is still declining. Despite month-over-month gains we have had another drastic decline in home values over the past 12 months. According to the recent statistics released by Realtor.com the average listing price decreased by 11.42% from June 2010 to $250,933.  

Things to Avoid When Holding an Open House

This weekend was national open house weekend. I had the opportunity to see an open house go wrong in a million dollar neighborhood, so I'm going to share some pointers to help your open house go smoothly.

1. Ensure that there are no malfunctions with the home. A defective air conditioner ruins the experience for everyone including the agent. You do not want the agent to be in a bad mood!

2. Have an agent who will not push prizes, giveaways, or follow prospective buyers as they look at the house. The idea is to make everyone comfortable and the way to do that is by making all information readilly available and be available to answer questions.

3. Have drinks and/or snacks on hand, especially on a hot afternoon. At a minimum, bottles icewater and soda is a must.

Challenges to be aware of in today's lending environment

There seems to be a fear out there that banks are not lending money.  This is absolutely not true.  If you do decide to either purchase or refinance a home there are some items that are helpful to know prior to beginning this process.  This article is intended to educate you about some of these complexities.  There are always issues that could arise but having knowledge of the following items could allow you to alleviate some of the potential issues or at least educate you about what could happen. 

SOURCING FUNDS
This issue would only be applicable if you are purchasing a home or putting money down for a refinance.  Depending on the type of loan you are applying for the lender can ask for up to 60 days worth of account statements from the account you will use for funds at closing.  They now require borrowers to show proof of any type of non sourced deposits to the account being used for down payment.  They will not q

April is Fair Housing Month

April is Fair Housing Month

April is National Fair Housing Month and Metro Fair Housing Services, Inc. has been celebrating in a big way and the best is yet to come!  Below is a consolidated list of our Fair Housing Month activities; please give us a call at 404-765-3940 to get more information about how you can join us in celebrating Fair Housing month!

*On April 18, Metro Fair Housing partnered with Office of Intercultural Affairs at Agnes Scott College to produce a film screening and excellent panel discussion.  More information and photos from that event coming soon!

*April 21, Fair Housing Month program for Fulton County.