AG Warns of Prop 8 Tax Relief Scams

In case you missed my warning last week on this subject, Attorney General Brown today issued the following warning about Property Tax Scams. There is a company right here in Murrieta offering this same service (at least there was one last year). Why somebody would pay for something they can get for free is beyond me but these shysters make it sound like if you don’t use them you don’t get the tax relief.

Please pass this along to your clients. Use it as an opportunity to get in touch with them and offer to run comps for them at the end of March. They can go online to the Riverside County Assessors Office, Prop 8 Application, download the form for free, plug in two comps that you provide them and see what happens.


Attorney General Brown: Homeowners Should be on High Alert for Property Tax Scams

Sacramento—Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a Consumer Alert to California homeowners about a “blatant and costly scam” targeting homeowners with declining property values.

“This blatant and costly scam holds out hope to homeowners that their property taxes will be reduced if they pay hundreds of dollars to a middleman to have their property re-evaluated,” Attorney General Brown said. “In point of fact, homeowners can seek relief directly from their county assessor free of charge. Homeowners should be on high alert.”

Companies are sending deceptive mailers to homeowners offering help in reducing property tax assessments, if the homeowner pays the company hundreds of dollars in fees. The companies use official-sounding names such as “Tax Adjusters,” “Tax Readjustment” or “Tax Review” to make victims believe the company is a government agency.

Property tax reassessment is a free service provided by county tax assessors. If homeowners believe their property value has declined and they are paying too much in property taxes, the local tax assessor will review the property value for free for a possible downward assessment.

To avoid becoming a victim, homeowners should:
• Never pay money for something they did not ask for.
• Avoid a middleman—they should contact their local tax assessor’s office for property value reassessment.

Homeowners who believe they are a victim of this scam should contact the Attorney General’s Office by either calling 1-800-952-5225 or by writing to P.O. Box 944255 Sacramento, CA 94244.

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You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at:

New RESPA Rules – Find Out What They Mean To You


New and (?) improved RESPA rules are scheduled to go into effect the b beginning of next year. The new rules apply to Realtors, lenders, title companies and almost everybody involved in a real estate transaction. You can follow the link below to find out what it means to you.

NAR Holds Webinar on New RESPA Rule

NAR held a webinar on Wednesday February 4, 2009 with RESPA Attorney Phil Schulman covering the major provisions of the new RESPA rule set to go into effect January 1, 2010. Schulman discussed the new Good Faith Estimate, the new HUD-1, and a number of other provisions important to real estate agents, brokers, and others in the broader real estate industry. Schulman also gave his perspective on the likely prospects of lawsuits by the NAHB and NAMB dealing with “required use” and yield spread premium respectively. The webinar is now posted on the web at the link below.

Listen to the Webinar
Good Faith Estimate

Legal Q & A: Abandoned Personal Property

As our market continues to be dominated by REO properties, and will likely be for some time to come, frequent questions arise as to the appropriate way to dispose of Personal Property found on an abandoned property either by a landlord or by an REO agent . This issue is the subject of a legal Q & A on the website along with many other legal issues.


Abandoned Personal Property After Termination of a Tenancy


Table of Contents





Residential Tenancies 



A.  Landlord Request’s that Tenant Retrieve Property (Questions 1 – 18) 



B.  Tenant’s Request for Return of Property (Questions 19 – 23)



C.  Lost Property (Questions 24 – 25)



Commercial Tenancies (Questions 26 – 37)



Abandoned Vehicles (Questions 38 – 41)



Additional Information (Question 42) 


I.  Introduction

After the termination of a tenancy, a landlord may find items of personal property left on the premises by either a former tenant or other persons. This legal article discusses California law regarding the disposition of abandoned property after the end of a tenancy.

II.  Residential Tenancies

The rules that apply for personal property left behind in a residential tenancy do not apply to manufactured homes or mobilehomes (Cal. Civ. Code § 1981).

For a complete summary of Q & A’s on this topic – please visit:


Copyright© 2008 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Permission is granted to C.A.R. members only to reprint and use this material for non-commercial purposes provided credit is given to the C.A.R. Legal Department. Other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the C.A.R. Legal Department. All rights reserved.