In what is suspected to be a “man in the middle scam”, funds were unwittingly deposited by a purchaser into an east coast bank account in the lead up to a settlement and then transferred by the scammers to an overseas account resulting in a significant loss of $557,000.
Typically, this type of scam will occur when the contents of person’s private emails are accessed and details of future financial transactions are seized upon by scammers. Victims will be contacted by what they believe to be their agent via a genuine email address when in fact it is the scammer who has assumed the identity of a recipient requesting the transfer.
Scammers are attracted to targeting property professionals and their clients due to the potential for high yield lucrative opportunities.
Landgate (WA Land Title OFfice) force PEXA use; Electronic lodgement of stand-alone Mortgages and Discharges of Mortgages will be effective 1 August 2016
On 4 April 2016 a letter was distributed to industry bodies and Customer Information Bulletin (CIB) recipients. This letter notified Landgate’s intention to introduce changes to the lodgement process for mortgages and discharges of mortgages that will affect mortgagees, their conveyancers, lawyers and lodging agents by 1 August 2016.
Industry bodies and CIB subscribers were invited to provide feedback on the changes. The timeframe for receiving feedback has now ended. This CIB is to notify that Landgate will be progressing activities to achieve the 1 August 2016 timeline.
FOREIGN RESIDENT CAPITAL GAINS - WITHHOLDING OBLIGATIONS BRIEF FOR REAL ESTATE &/ SETTLEMENT AGENTS- AFFECTS ALL REAL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS $2 MILLION OR MORE INCLUDING AGGREGATED DEALS
Legislation will take effect as of July 1st 2016 requiring that ALL real property transactions over $2m be assessed to determine what (if any) Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability exists.
There are many different scenarios which include multiple buyers or sellers and variations to the amount held.
In circumstances where there are multiple buyers (ie. A farmer has sold his farm off in separate lots) but the aggregated market value is over $2 million, the Seller will be required to provide a clearance certificate. If not each Buyer must withhold in proportion to their percentage of the total purchase price.
More information on this can be found on the ATO website at the following links:
https://www.ato.gov.au/…/js36800_Foreign%20residents%20fact… or https://goo.gl/TFkD3t
https://www.ato.gov.au/…/foreign-resident-capital-gains-wi…/ or https://goo.gl/1Y01VE
https://www.ato.gov.au/…/foreign-resident-capital-gains-wi…/ or https://goo.gl/GYzmuA
https://www.ato.gov.au/…/Foreign-resident-capital-gains-wi…/ or https://goo.gl/2GC9o2
https://www.ato.gov.au/…/Foreign-resident-capital-gains-wi…/ or https://goo.gl/EFtGIZ
As of 3rd February 2016, the regulation of Scaled Settlement Agents' capped fee has ceased. Settlement Agents are now able to charge their worth for their services in executing the transaction. The new fee disclosure rule in found in the rule 6B & unforeseen significant change for scope of work under 6C of the Settlement Agents Code of Conduct & Act.
Removing the 'Maximum Scale' and de-regulating fees has allowed Settlement Agents greater flexibility to cater to the differing needs of their particular clientèle and complexity of work involved.
Pursuant to the the new rule, a Settlement Agent must provide their client with a written costs disclosure setting out the maximum amount they will be charging for their services, before the client signs the Form 1 Appointment to Act.
Some agencies may differ by supplying you with a low cost fee, but refer or attach additional costs disclosure of their 'add-on' or 'additional charges' inside a disclosure statement -similar to that of a lender where they might detail their rights to charge the consumer fees that could exceed the old 'Scale'.
Things to be careful of might include;
As ignorance of the law is no excuse, please be aware, rewards for referrral to Settlement Agents under the Act is a "Big No No" with upto $20k penalty, thanks REIWA for sharing this...
Please remember it is an offence to take any rewards from a settlement agent for sending business their way.
Regulated products and services From 1 July 2015, some of Landgate's regulated products and services will be subject to new fees by no more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 2.6 per cent*.
E-conveyancing as touted by PEXA is coming to WA soon, but just to clarify some points of misconception around e-conveyancing in Perth WA;
16/6/15 Just an update PEXA will already be increasing their fees from the above mentioned amounts come July.
After nearly a decade Commerce has approved an small CPI adjustment on the Scale of Settlement Agents fees effective from 1st October 2013. Last CPI adjustment was in 2004 with only a base line increment in 2008.
RE Agents and Brokers may find the new scale here... http://goo.gl/RpNKwN
A caution to people in the real-estate market when shopping for a cheap settlement agent service. Cutting costs on an already reasonably priced service can be playing roulette with one of your biggest life transactions.
The expression "you get what you pay for" is very apt for the settlement service industry. Problems frequently arise when costs are slashed as staffing and service levels are compromised to make up for the lack of funds. Less experienced and unqualified staff can be handling your settlement, compromising the effective execution of the many procedural matters that regularly arise with this important legal and financial transaction. It is important to ask your settlement agent who will be handling your transaction.
Just like the medical profession, Conveyancers are a service based profession where more experienced and qualified staff rightly command a higher fee. The reality is that your settlement will usually be done more efficiently and effectively and this is results in savings on your stress and pocket.
At A1 Conveyancing, we are so confident in our excellent service levels that we offer all our clients a money back guarantee on the professional fee.
Professional, Personalised, Flexible and Efficient
A1 Conveyancing is "Real Service with a Real Smile" P: 08 9300 9750
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