By Kay Wilson-Bolton
December 25, 2007
“Don’t Borrow Trouble” is the slogan of the day. The abuses in lending practices over the past few years are known to everyone attached to the business of real estate. We first need to agree that predatory practices exist in every county and every culture in the world, and they are not new.
What is new and different about these practices is that the aftershocks are felt far beyond those directly affected, and we are seeing it play out daily in our neighborhoods and on national news.
It is one thing to say, “Too bad and so sad”; it is another thing to say “never again” and play a role in making that commitment a reality.
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals has developed and adopted a Code of Trust, reaching far beyond any Code of Ethics, to insure that predatory practices are eliminated from real estate transactions. The full text can be found at www.nahrep.com. Go to search and type in “Code of Trust.”
It is an eloquent and detailed statement about responsible business practices, integrity, sustainable home ownership, accountability, full disclosures, consumer choices, appropriate appraisals, closing services, community based counseling and regulatory enforcement.
The Ventura/Oxnard Chapter of NAHREP had immeasurable input into the document. This group of real estate professionals was named Outstanding Chapter in the organization’s national network, under the president of Miguel Viesca of Buena Vista Mortgage.
The legacy of this commitment was carried forward this year by Chapter President, Estelle Zendejas of ReMax Gold Coast Realtors and President Elect, Cindy Diaz-Telly of Troop Real Estate.
NAHREP has been a strategic partner in the Real Estate Advisory Fraud effort, made possible by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®, led by co-chair Jim Keith of Prudential Real Estate and Professional Standards Chair.
Chair of REFAT is Miles Weiss, Investigator for the District Attorney’s office, who also holds a real estate broker’s license. Much of the work is shepherded by Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®’s Governmental Affairs Director, Kay Runnion.
A most interesting partner in doing the right thing is United Way. Call their humanitarian helpline 211 number for the referral number to someone who can help you with questions about your loan or your real estate purchases. It is never too late.
Successful predatory practices require a team of insiders who know what documents to alter and create. They are the same people who will conceal important details and critical impacts.
We now know that it will take a team to disable them. The first requirement is that someone speaks up. Report suspicious activities and questionable practices. Call anyone you trust and ask them to help you. Go direct to the District Attorney’s office. Call (805) 662-1750 or go on line to http://da.countyofventura.org.
Predators on the prowl operate under cover. Putting the spotlight on predatory practitioners makes them run and hide. With good work and good information, they will hide in jail along with the others.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and CENTURY 21 Ability. She brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her web address is www.readysetkay.com