Seven Red Flags About Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 Short Sales

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

program 3648Due to my high visibility online as a Sacramento short sale agent, I receive a lot of email spam, much of it centering on short sales. When I received an email from Program 3648, I deleted it, and all those that came after it. I mean, who calls itself Program 3648 or Program HR 3648 -- is this the X-Files?

But on Wednesday, I stopped to read one of these emails. The email aroused my suspicions because it talked about Administration Policy and promised full commissions on short sales, while naming a bunch of major lenders. I know that full commission is an impossible guarantee. Red flag. I also noted the email was absent a company name but sported a Washington, D.C. address, made to look like it could be a government-sponsored entity. #2 red flag.

So, I decided to check it out and signed up for the Program 3648 webinar. It started out innocent enough. To qualify for the program, an agent must:

  • Be full-time
  • Have short sale experience
  • Be able to handle at least 15 short sale listings
  • Possess a proactive approach
  • Maintain a proper mindset

That last 2 requirements were a bit peculiar because every successful short sale agent I know has those qualities. To push a "proactive approach" or "proper mindset," well, those are not things one would promote to an experienced real estate agent. It's insulting. But it's new information to an inexperienced agent. #3 red flag.

Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 also sport a little icon as their logo. It looks suspiciously like a government symbol with an eagle in the middle and lettering so tiny you can't read it, but it's not a government entity. #4 red flag.

Basically, this is how the program was laid out. An agent pays an upfront fee, signs a 6-month contract and agrees to pay a triple-digit monthly fee to Program 3648 or Program HR 3648. In return, the agent receives training on how to become a short sale listing agent . . . Wait. Didn't they just say they wanted experienced short sale agents? #5 red flag.

The agent will receive a list of 150 leads. These leads consist of homeowners who are 30 days or more behind in their mortgage payments. If an agent wanted to find a list of homeowners who have a Notice of Default filed against their homes, this information is available for free in the Sacramento County public records. The idea is agents then call or send direct mail to the homeowners, in essence, the program purports to turn real estate agents into telemarketers. #6 red flag.

What busy and successful short sale agent would want to do telemarketing? Probably none. But a brand new agent who has no business might be tempted to sign up for this program.

Program 3648 and Program HR 3648 also provide all the short sale negotiation for the agent. Gosh, I hope Program 3648 is a licensed real estate broker because only real estate brokers or lawyers can collect a commission, regardless of what they call it, to negotiate a short sale.

But the weird twist is the listing agent somehow charges the short sale buyer 1% of the sales price and makes the buyer pay its negotiation fee, 20% of which is rebated to the listing agent. Why would a buyer agree to pay a commission of 1% to the listing agent and the listing agent's third-party negotiator? #7 red flag.

I disconnected at that point. How many red flags does an agent need? I can already hear the lawyers at Lyon Real Estate having conniption fits over this.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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Certified HAFA Specialistelizabeth weintraub

 

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ken 360.609.0226 Vancouver Homes for Sales 07/23/2010 04:33 PM
  2. Sigrid Egan 09/11/2010 01:05 PM
  3. Ritu Desai 09/27/2010 01:15 PM
  4. Bea Lueck 01/24/2011 05:37 PM
  5. Taher Kasubhai 03/31/2011 07:14 PM
  6. Joyce Albert 04/23/2011 05:07 PM
  7. Angela Shopper 04/27/2011 07:23 PM
  8. Hector Reyes 12/13/2011 02:36 PM
  9. Michele Peterson 03/29/2012 01:06 PM
Topic:
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Show All Comments
Rainer
16,429
Bernie Stea
The Carl Group LLC - Vancouver, WA

Elizabeth - thanks for the heads-up.  I did sign up for the seminar out of curiosity.  After only a few minutes into it, I became suspicious as soon as I heard a few of the buzz words showing they were selling their special "system" (which I already have, and so do most competent short sale brokers).  While I was listening, I did a quick search and found your blog and other postings questioning the program.  To me, comments like this on a credible forum like ActiveRain was enough, so I balied.  I probably should have searched here first, but you saved me a lot of time.

 

Apr 05, 2012 11:39 AM #66
Rainer
27,931
Robyn Heathcock
IRG Real Estate - Frisco, TX

I have been getting emails off and on directly from them for over 2 years now, it never passed the smell test for me either.  Then just today received and email from a well know agent coaching agency, whom I know personally, recommending their program!  I guess this tells me the heart of that coaching agentcy, wonder how much kick back they get from it.  If agents get their training from our tried and true resources, like NAR and the our local schools that provided the specialized training in these areas, short sale leads are not hard to find, but it is really scary to think how many agents may be getting "sucked" in to this, especially when recommended by seemingly reputable coaching companies.

Jun 18, 2012 07:31 AM #67
Rainer
1,895
Lynn goldhammer
Prudential Zach Shore Properties - Asbury Park, NJ

I listened this week to a "training" call (sales pitch) on this scam.  If followed, the refering company makes more than I would on each sale.  They claim in the pitch to get a $1500 referal fee.  The fine print says $1500 or 1% whichever is greater.  I contacted them to inquire if my math was correct.  He confirmed it was. 

Thank you for posting this as it confirms my suspitions.

Jun 23, 2012 09:42 AM #68
Rainmaker
79,511
Matt Cochrell
Core Ohio Realty Advisors - Columbus, OH
e-PRO, ABR, NAR Green Designation, BPOR

I'm in the webinar right now...immediately had suspicions.  Glad I just found your post though!  Thanks!!!

Jul 12, 2012 08:44 AM #69
Rainer
6,132
Marla Trussell
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - San Marcos, CA

And almost 2 1/2  years later they are still sending out the same spam emails..."Can We Work Together Around Encinitas Tonight" I immediately googled Program  3648 and found your blog. Thanks for posting.

Aug 01, 2012 07:29 PM #70
Rainer
16,250
Chip Hurst
Maximum One Realty - Villa Rica, GA

Thanks for the heads up.  I googled them and your post came up.  Don't think I will be interested.

Aug 27, 2012 08:14 AM #71
Rainer
262,155
Teresa Boardman
Saint Paul Home Realty - Saint Paul, MN

I know this is an old post but the HR3648 spam keeps coming.  there is info for consumers about ripp offs but nothing for agents.  These people are relentless in sending spam.  

Oct 31, 2012 05:14 AM #72
Rainmaker
239,484
Bill Dean
Worth Clark Realty St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

Thanks Elizabeth,

It's now July 2013 and they are still having these webinars (J. Bowman et al).  Since you wrote this post in 2010, I have seen many many SS negotiators pop up in our area and nationally!  Do you suppose the laws have changed in last few years?  I believe as you stated that these people should be licensed to do negotiations, but puzzled how they are not and get away with it?

Jul 18, 2013 09:42 AM #73
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

People get away with crap, Bill, because nobody complains or rats them out. And even when they are ratted out, they pack up their bags, change the name of the DBA and move on to the next town. Nothing changes much from century to century.

Jul 18, 2013 06:54 PM #74
Rainmaker
1,019,021
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Elizabeth, I came across this post while Google-ing HR3648 Program...I just found a listing in my MLS with a form attached to the listing called a Facilitation FEE Agreement.  First time I every saw it and it's as you say the buyer agrees to pay 1% fee or $1,500 (whichever is more) as a fee to facilitate the short sale process and Payable to Real Prompt Realty Company a parent company of the HR3648 Program).   

Jan 06, 2014 01:51 PM #75
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I'm sure some buyers think it is worth it to pay a 1% premium, although I don't really understand why. In my Sacramento MLS, a seller would need to authorize such a stipulation because I woud not be amazed if some sellers have no idea what's going on.

Jan 06, 2014 01:59 PM #76
Rainmaker
55,210
Cathy Baumbusch
RE/MAX Executives - Springfield, VA
cathybREALtor

I just got an email from them today. Subject line: Alexandria Referral for Cathy.

Feb 03, 2014 12:49 PM #77
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

They continue to get more clever, huh?

Feb 03, 2014 01:00 PM #78
Rainer
1,025
Michael Wong

Elizabeth, thanks for the HR3648 red flags.  Just past week been geting bombarded by them, thanks for your advance research -- will put them on junk mail.

LOL, just signup with Active Rain to post this thank you :)

Apr 24, 2014 10:46 AM #79
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Michael: Hey, welcome to Active Rain. It's a great place to meet other agents and share information.

Apr 24, 2014 11:56 AM #80
Rainer
11,170
Tonya Jones
The Realty Group - Powder Springs, GA

I just received an Email from them today.  Thank you for your post, it was the first thing to come up when Googled HR3648.com

Warm Regards,

Tonya Jones

May 20, 2014 05:31 PM #81
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Always happy to help a fellow agent avert disappointment, Tonya.

May 20, 2014 06:06 PM #82
Rainer
21,172
Rita White
Keller Williams Realty Partners - Beacon, NY
AB, ABR, GRI, SRES, CNE, SFR

I got an email which went to my spam.  Always suspicious about those kind of emails so I googled it.  Thanks for the heads up and not wasting my time.

May 22, 2014 02:29 AM #84
Rainer
8,475
Kelly Singleton
Salt Lake City, UT

I've also been getting emails from them. Obviously a pay-for-leads deal, but I was intrigued nonetheless. So glad I can come to ActiveRain to research! Thank you. 

Jul 18, 2014 03:01 PM #85
Rainmaker
1,222,322
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

You're welcome, Kelly. Sooner or later this will phase out, I suspect. Then a new "opportunity" will surely present itself.

Jul 18, 2014 07:21 PM #86
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Rainmaker
1,222,322

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents

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