I'm Not a Criminal, Are You?... Prove It!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.

Today I was forced to prove I wasn't a criminal. No, not to the FBI, the Overland Park Police Department or even the 80-year-old security officer at the mall. I had to provide irrefutable evidence of my upstanding citizenship by furnishing a copy of my driver's license to a LENDER!

This company is not just any lender, though... definitely not a "mom & pop" mortgage shop. It happens to be subsidiary of one of the largest lenders in the US. Let's call them "Company A." I was informed that without proof of my "good guy status," we would be unable to close.

At first, I was somewhat irritated because my financial stake in this transaction is limited to my compensation as a licensed Realtor so I couldn't understand what they would need with MY identification. [Clarification: I am the LISTING AGENT in this situation.] That initial frustration was soon replaced by confusion after I was unable to receive a satisfactory explanation about the situation.

After an hour or so of being unable to determine what was going on, I was finally able to contact one of my trusted mortgage professionals, who just happens to work for "Company A." He chuckled as I explained my predicament and said that he has been hearing quite a few similar stories lately. 

In a nutshell, someone with my name is on the Federal Housing Administration "blacklist" or whatever they call it. According to my trusted professional, the list is filled with serious FHA offenders including a number of felons. To cover its behind, the lender needs my identification to ensure that I (Good Jonathan) am not the person on the list (Bad Jonathan). In the end, it actually made sense to me.

However, if this list is anything like the TSA's "No-Fly" list I'm going to have to prove I'm not "Bad Jonathan" for the rest of my real estate career. That's very, very unfortunate.

Has anyone else been asked to provide identification while acting solely as an agent?

Follow us! We're pretty cool.

Comments (10)

Tim and Pam Cash
Crye-Leike (Sango) - Clarksville, TN
Real Estate Professionals - Clarksville TN

Jonathan, sorry to hear that.  It is a long process to get off those lists, but with persistence it can be accomplished.  Best of luck to you.

Jun 10, 2009 02:37 PM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Jonathan~ I thought with the patriot act, or something like that, that everyone had to show their ID in order to complete the mortgage or bank loan process.  They ask for it regardless of whether or not you may be on the blacklist. 

Jun 10, 2009 02:52 PM
Jonathan Bell
Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc. - Overland Park, KS

I'm so sorry. After I re-read my post I realized that I wasn't very clear. I am the AGENT in this situation. I have never been asked for my identification as the AGENT in a transaction. That is what was so confusing to me. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Jun 10, 2009 03:02 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I had to give my SS recently to the bank in a short sale transaction, as the listing agent . . . receiving and providing info to/from the bank. That's how they ID authorized parties.

Jun 10, 2009 03:13 PM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Good Jonathan,

I can relate to being on the TSA no-fly list. I, or else named Wayne Johsnon was on a list of some sort used by American Airlines. Only American had an issue with my name. I tried to get explanations too as to why. No other issues with any other carrier. Eventually it got worked out, but it's no fun holding up the line, and having your fellow passengers give you the evil eye.

Jun 10, 2009 03:19 PM
Kimberly Thurm
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago - Naperville, IL
Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR

Jonathan, Sorry to hear about your ordeal.  I have come across it now and then with buyers.  Sometimes our buyers have common names in whatever country they are from.  When the bank who holds our escrow monies check that infamous list - a name will come up as being the same.  Then we have to do back to the buyers and ask for a social security number to see if they are in deed the bad person on the list.  Our banks say because of the Patriot Act, if a person declines to provide the necessary information, they can not deposit the earnest money.  I know it can be embarrassing for both the agents and the clients.  It's going to keep happening more and more.  So I would not get to upset unless they think you are the bad bad person....

Jun 10, 2009 03:32 PM
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around


They say everyone has a double.  In your case it is a name.  It is very unfortunate.  My ex has someone with the same name as him.  What happened was he received a traffic violation summons from Arizona, and he was never in Arizona.  He had to prove that he was not in that state at that time.  As long as you are the good Jonathan, I wouldn't worry about it.  Just make sure you have your license on hand at all times.  LOL


Jun 10, 2009 11:29 PM
George & Arlene Paukert
Road to Wealth, Inc. - West Palm Beach, FL

I'm so sorry and I suggest you keep your copy of your records and just send them in everytime, just to save yourself the time and trouble. Are they willing to pay the extra cost that is incurred by your buyers or sellers for delays?

Jun 10, 2009 11:31 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


First of all I want you to know I'm not laughing at you I'm laughing with you. There's a good TLW and bad TLW you know :)

Here in Florida it's not uncommon to be asked for I.D. by a title company. I like the idea that some behinds are being covered. If they started doing things like this to begin with maybe mortgage fraud wouldn't have become the animal it became :)


Jun 14, 2009 11:15 AM
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Well now Jonathan....it's good for all of us here on Active Rain to finally know we're only dealing with the "good" Jonathan.  Congrats on your confirmed GOOD status...LOL  Funny story (I think ;-)

Jun 15, 2009 04:29 AM