Tag Archives: Rancho Santa Margarita

service event

Kids Around The World

Kids Around The World Service Event

Sunday, May 21st from 2-4pm

Event Info

RSVP below and help package food!

Sunday, May 21 from 2-4pm at Mandeville Park, Laguna Hills

*arrive anytime, stay as long as you can*

Kids welcome!

Questions? Call/Text 949-416-6833

Watch this video to see what the event will be like!

Half of the world’s population of children is in poverty—victims of war, natural disasters, injustice, and economic stress. Many of them die from malnutrition, or are physically and emotionally stunted. Over 66% of the world’s population can’t read, learning instead through spoken word. They feel hopelessly trapped within their socioeconomic boundaries, without vision for the future.

Do You Know How Your Credit Stands? Protect Your Identity With These 3 Steps

Do You Know How Your Credit Stands? Protect Your Identity With These 3 Steps



When was the last time you checked your credit score?  As real estate professionals we need to be mindful of the genuine and useful resources available regarding identity theft.  These tools can help our clients id-theft-penguinslessen the impact of identity theft, limit exposure of their non-personal private information and, most importantly, show you how to form security barriers to protect your privacy and credit — all for free.

1.  Be aware that identity theft is a long-standing and pressing problem
Identity theft has been the top consumer complaint reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the past 15 years.  In 2014 alone, the FTC received 330,000 complaints from consumers who were victims of identity theft.  Data breaches involving millions of us through Anthem, JPMorgan Chase, Target and Home Depot, and government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, to name few, are evidence that no one is immune from identity theft.   Just recently, the Office of Personnel Management, a government agency with a mission of recruiting, retaining and honoring a world-class workforce to serve the American people, was highlighted as a victim of cybercrime.  Furthermore, a recent study by FICO, the creator of the FICO score, shows that from January to April of this year, the number of compromised incidents at bank teller machines increased by 174 percent. And there has been a frightening 317 percent increase in compromised incidents at nonbank ATMs compared to the same period in 2014.

2.  Get an instant response to basic credit questions
Last month, the FTC launched a mind-blowing new resource, identitytheft.gov, which makes it easier for victims to report, manage and recover from identity theft.  The program has an easy-to-follow format, with step-by-step interactive checklists on what to do after receiving a data breach notice or experiencing full-blown identity theft.  The site offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft, and provides sample letters and other helpful resources.

3.  Employ a credit freeze rather than an extended fraud alert
A security freeze prevents thieves from opening new accounts; it also prevents the three credit reporting firms from selling or sharing people’s information.  Except existing creditors, no one will have access to a frozen credit file so that no new accounts can be opened.  And most importantly, the identity theft protection provided by a credit freeze is undeniably unmatched.  Do be aware that you should never suggest a credit freeze before close of escrow, as that will delay the mortgage process.

A credit freeze will make it near impossible for a thief to open a new account because creditors will generally not extend credit unless they have access to a consumer’s credit report.  Blocking access effectively blocks new accounts.  Fraud alerts are also a useful tool but do not necessarily block new accounts. Fraud alerts require the potential creditor to take reasonable steps to verify the debtor’s identity but do not necessarily block new accounts.

Help eliminate fraud by reporting a scam when you see one
The FTC’s mission is to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices.  It and other law enforcement agencies fight fraud by learning about scams from victims who report them.  Fraud in the real estate and lending industries is abating, but it is not completely gone, so much more needs to be done.  You can help bring scam artists to justice by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) when you spot suspicious activities.  You can also sign up with the FTC to receive alerts about ongoing scams.

Helpful contact information for our clients
For fraud alerts

  • Equifax: 1-888-766-0008 (equifax.com)
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 (experian.com)
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 (transunion.com)

For credit freezes

  • Equifax: 1-800-349-9960
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872

Clients can also visit the firms’ websites to learn the process for placing a fraud alert or securing a credit freeze: equifax.com, experian.com and transunion.com.

As real estate professionals, being vigilant about reporting scams and educating our clients about how they can protect their identities allows us to provide significant added value that benefits both our industry as a whole and the individuals that we serve.

Understanding Mello-Roos

Some home buyers run screaming when they hear the words Mello-Roos during a purchase on home for sale. It’s time to dispel the fear and the not so ugly truth behind these special taxes. Many home buyers are scared by the term Mello-Roos, but it’s not that scary. Once buyers know the facts, they realize Mello-Roos is not a problem. If you’ve decided to invest in a home in an area where there is Mello-Roos, it’s probably because you fell in love with the award winning schools, convenient amenities and location. Not to mention the fact that South Orange County is ranked among one of the safest counties in the entire country. It was Mello-Roos that helped make these areas such desirable places to live.

What is a Mello-Roos District? A Mello-Roos District is an area where a special tax is imposed on those real property owners within a Community Facilities District. The district has chosen to seek public financing through the sale of bonds for the purpose of financing certain public improvements and services. These services may include streets, water, sewage, and drainage, electricity, infrastructure, schools, parks, and police protection to newly developing areas. The tax you pay is used to make the payments of principal and interest on the bonds.

Are the assessments included within the Proposition 13 tax limits? No, the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 severely restricted local government in its ability to finance public capital facilities and services by increasing real property taxes. The “Mello-Roos Community Facility Act of 1982” provided local government with an additional financing tool. The Proposition 13 tax limits are on the value of the real property, while Mello-Roos taxes are equally and uniformly applied to all properties.

How long does the tax stay in effect? The tax will stay in effect as long as it is needed to pay the expenses of service or until the principal and interest on the bonds are paid off along with any reasonable administrative costs incurred in collecting the special tax, but in no case shall exceed 40 years.

What are my Mello-Roos taxes paying for? Your taxes may be paying for both services and facilities. The services may be financed only to the extent of new growth, and services include police protection, fire protection, ambulance and paramedic services, recreation program services, library services, the operation and maintenance of parks, parkways and open spaces, museums, cultural facilities, floor and storm protection and services for the removal of any threatening hazardous substance. Facilities which may be financed under the Act include property with an estimated useful life of five years or longer, parks, recreation facilities, parkway facilities, open-space facilities, elementary and secondary school sites and structures, libraries, child care facilities, natural gas pipeline facilities, telephone lines, facilities to transmit and distribute electrical energy, cable television and others.

What is the basis for the tax? Most special taxes levied on properties within these districts have been structured on the basis of density of development, square footage of construction, or flat acreage changes. The act, however, allows for considerable flexibility in the method of apportionment of taxes, and the local agencies may have established an entirely different method of levying the special tax against property in the district in question.

How much will the Mello-Roos payment be? The amount of tax may vary from year to year, but may not exceed the maximum amount specified when the district was created. In the case of the purchase of a new house with a subdivision, the maximum amount of the tax will be specified in the public report.
The Resolution of Formation must specify the rate method of apportionment, and manner of collection in sufficient detail to allow each land-owner within the proposed district to estimate the maximum amount that he or she will have to pay.

How is the special tax reflected on real property records? The special tax is a lien on your property, essentially like a regular tax lien. The lien is recorded as a “Notice of Special Tax Lien” which is continuing to lien to secure each levy of the special tax.

What happens if a general tax payment is not made on time? By purchasing an interest in a subdivision within a Community Facilities District you can expect to be assessed for a Mello-Roos tax which will typically be collected with your general property tax bill.

How are Mello-Roos taxes affected when the property is sold? The Mello-Roos tax is assessed against the land, but is not based upon the value of the property, therefore the possible increased value of the property is sold. The amount of the tax may not exceed the original maximum amount stated in the Resolution of Formation. Any delinquent payments must be satisfied before the sale of the real property since the underpaid amounts are a lien against the property.