Real Estate Consultant Sentenced For Tax Crimes In Kickback Scheme

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the US Department of Justice say a Michigan real estate consultant and accountant will serve 18 months in prison after he filed false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Steven Mills, of Harbor Springs and formerly of East Lansing, was retained by a corporation to supervise several real estate agents. Between 2012 and 2015, Mills demanded and received about $577,000 in kickbacks which he did not report on his tax returns, according to officials. Mills did not report all of the income he earned when he operated Mills Real Estate Consulting LLC. Officials say he did not report $100,000 he received from a real estate developer between 2013 and 2015. IRS-Criminal Investigation led the…

Will The Housing Market Boom Or Bust In 2022?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the spring selling season begins, people in the mortgage and real estate industries are speculating on whether 2022 will be a year of growth or the start of the end for a red-hot market that has favored sellers and forced up the price of housing in many parts of the country. Numbers from the start of the year look promising for growth. On Tuesday, S&P Dow Jones Indices released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. A 19.2% annual gain was reported in January, up from 18.9% in December. The 10-City Composite annual increase was 17.5%, up from 17.1% in December. The 20-City Composite posted a 19.1% year-over-year gain, up from 18.6% in the previous…

Austin Home Values Equivalent To Ecuador’s Total GDP

December 2021 saw a record annual surge in US home value, the largest gain seen in any December since at least 2001, according to a new analysis of Redfin’s Housing Value Index. U.S. home value rose 18.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $38.6 trillion. Austin, TX, saw home values double that, jumping 39.2% YOY. That shakes out to $365.9 billion, roughly the 2020 GDP of Ecuador and the biggest gain of any metro tracked by Redfin. December marked the 17th consecutive month of double-digit price gains as inventory shrank to a record low. Cape Coral, FL, saw the second-highest gains (36.9%), followed by Grand Rapids, MI (33.1%), Phoenix (32.8%), and Boise, ID (32.8%). Cape Coral and Phoenix have consistently made the list…

UWM Under Investigation in Wake of COVID Complaints

Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is under scrutiny from both state and county health officials in the wake of complaints about the company’s handling of COVID-19, a Detroit TV station is reporting. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. And the Oakland County Health Department has also received numerous complaints about UWM, leaving health officials concerned amid the county’s soaring infection rate.“The test positivity rate in Oakland County is 25.5%. It’s the highest it’s ever…

Rocket Mortgage Volunteers Win TMN’s ‘Santa’s Helper’ Charity Contest

Across the country, mortgage professionals step up to help those in need every holiday season so we at The Mortgage Note decided to celebrate organizations and their employees who recognize the importance of giving back to their communities. On November 30, we started a contest asking members of the mortgage industry to submit photos and a brief description of the charity work they’re doing this year. The winner would earn a $1,000 donation from TMN to their highlighted charity. Valerie Pesonen, a senior manager in public relations at Rock Central, sent in a submission for Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, Michigan that warmed our hearts. Pesonen highlighted three community outreach programs the company participates in, including the Rocket Mortgage Cause Campaign…