August 2015 Newsletter

U.S. Debt Clock – Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock: 


For those of us who have Millennials making the transition to the “real world”, this could be a good question, particularly when living is tied to working (imagine that).

So here is a list of rankings of cities versus amenities.

Okay, to save you the trouble, Los Angeles is ranked overall 227 out of 300.

The first is Overland Park in Kansas and the last on the list is Compton, CA. It also has the highest and lowest median income, and which are the cities were the most affordable housing (Flint, MI).

This report is chock full of interesting rankings and deserves a closer look especially if that 30 year old “child” is thinking of changing jobs and relocating.

On another note,  check out this animation chart published by CBS San Francisco, showing how prices in San Francisco are overwhelming the values nationwide.

The same person also designed a chart that compares values for every state as compared to their land mass. I know, I am full of interesting graphs this time.


If you are interested in finding out how easy it easy to steal you identity and buy stuff online in your name you only have to read this article.

Take if from this con man turning a new leaf and spilling the beans, it is easy.

Fascinating to read, horrifying to realize how easy it is to be scammed, and scary to understand that he is just one out of many who are still hacking away.

On the other hand we have to experience some relief that these crooks are being caught.

Our California Attorney General (AG), Kamala Harris,  had a lot to say about cyber hackers, and it all comes out in a ruling in the San Francisco Superior Court.

The scheme for this con man was to trick gmail account holders to give up their recovery code, reach out on Facebook to others and then take over the accounts and steal images and other personal content, which then he sold to others.

Federal charges are also pending.

Here is a copy of the Attorney General’s announcement.

Are we worried? You betcha!

We escrow companies realize that we are targets and that is why our security is so tight.

Why can’t these people put all their intelligence to run legitimate money making propositions? Oh, right. That’s what we call Wall Street.


No, not the edible kind of desserts. Remember those glorious days of 2006 and 2007 when you thought the economic boom was never going to end and Lenders were lending money to anyone who breathed on their “stated income”?

These were also times of fraud and scams and some of these crooks are only getting their just desserts now, eight years later.

Reading this article just made me angry.

Here is this guy who screwed up the ownership of title for at least 35 homeowners not to mention the loss that the lenders took, and it took our justice system 8 years to come down with a charge?

The maximum sentence he gets is just “5 years in prison, 3 years of supervision after release, a fine and restitution”?

Where is the justice in that?


Are you doing well financially? Has your income increased? Decreased?

Has it increased to pre-2007 levels or fallen? Let me introduce you to this chart based on figures provided by the IRS (and they should know, right?).

Now the classifications are Top 0.1%, Top 1%, Top 50%, and then there is the rest of us.

Where is that touted “economic recovery”? I think it passed me by.


It’s not often that I put in a blurb about North Korea, not because they are not fascinating to read about, but because we don’t know how TRUE are the stories that come out.

Here is one story that had me raise my brows till it hit my hairline.

Now, as you know, I give a lot of presentations and from time to time I see people who fall asleep while I am droning on in class. I blame the lack of coffee, too heavy a lunch, or not enough sleep on the part of the attendees.

Of course it can’t be me, or my delivery of boring topics, right? Well, apparently in North Korea one poor general was executed because of his inability to stay awake during a meeting with Kim Jong Un.

If this report is true, I will only say that I would probably not go for such extreme measures in my classes. However, I do admit to thinking bad thoughts when I catch people fiddling on their phone while I am droning on …. I find that extremely disrespectful…. What do you think?


Unless you have been living in outer space somewhere or in Washington State, which does not have this problem, California has this drought issue we are dealing with on a daily basis.

I am now doing my civic duty and reminding everyone that there are many, many ways for us to save on water usage, some of which you may not have even thought of. Here is a link to tips that can help.

My city, Arcadia, is asking for a 36% reduction in use. They have block signs posted every 20 feet on the medians of major streets.

Have you recently looked at the center median on Huntington Drive in San Marino? It is brown and yellow! A badge of pride! I am doing my part. I have already cut down showers to twice a week. Just kidding.

My clients and I would avoid me if that were the case. But I have cut down washing my hair to twice a week, and I found out that my hair likes it! It makes it more manageable when I don’t strip all the natural oils from it due to over washing. Hey, another TIP!

My next project, desert landscape at home. It has already started. My front lawn also wears the badge of pride – it is turning a beautiful color of yellow and brown.


(Real questions left on our website- verbatim!)

Q: Why do escrow companies hold seller’s proceeds for a Release from SBE?  And how much is escrow supposed to hold if not all of the proceeds? Why is this necessary? How does this effect the new buyer in a bulk sale transaction?”

A: At the close of escrow on a bulk sale the Escrow Holder holds the Seller’s net proceeds until they receive the Releases from the State Board of Equalization, the Employment Development Dept and the Franchise Tax Board.

The reason for the hold is because under the various government code sections which these 3 agencies operate under, if the Seller does not pay the taxes that are owed, the Buyer becomes liable for them under Successor’s Liability.

Therefore, in order to make sure that the new Buyer is not stuck with the Seller’s unpaid taxes, Escrow Holder is instructed by the 3 government agencies to hold all the net proceeds until the Seller has submitted his final tax returns and a Release is issued and given to the Escrow Holder.

A lower amount can be negotiated between the Buyer and Seller, but the Buyer has to be made aware that if the tax liability is more than the amount held, the Buyer becomes responsible for the difference if the Seller is not willing to make it up.

The codes may be found under Section 1732 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code for the EDD, Sections 18661-18677 of the Revenue and Taxation Code for the FTB and Division 2, Part 1.5 and 1.6 of the Revenue Taxation Code for the SBE.

“A stumble may prevent a fall”
English Proverb