I'm confused! Can anyone explain why private info is allowed to be publicized?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with EverSand Realty Group

Browsing Realty Trac and some other site a client had enlightened me to, I had decided to type in my own street name to see if anyone in my neighborhood was behind on their mortgage.  Then it dawned on me "How embarrassing this is for homeowners".  I found that one of my neighbors down the street was in foreclosure....WOW......quite surprised because you'd never know by the way they decorated for Christmas and smile whenever you see them.

Then the worst part of what I discovered was how these sites let you click on a map to see where the house is located.  So I clicked on the map and it almost appeared that the little red dot seemed to be sitting right in front of my house......................OMG.

I was so mad I wanted to complain but didn't know who to complain to.

Much of this is very upsetting.  These sites actually tell you how much the people owe, how far they are behind, etc.......along with making the public think it's your home because the map is incorrect.

Anyway, can someone explain to me why "privacy policies" are not enforced with people's mortgage delinquencies?

Especially in today's troubled economy, I think that thousands of people shouldn't have the fact that they are behind on their mortgage plastered all over the internet.  Enlighten me please!

Posted by

Sandra Nixon

EverSand Realty Group


Comments (6)

Kim Sellers
Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow

These sites are part of our world.  Spokeo.com has everything on there from social networking sites.  You have to remove yourself off of there.  I removed my whole family.

Feb 10, 2011 01:26 AM
Norm Werner
Real Estate One - Milford, MI
Helping the first time and every time

In reality this information is not private. Most of the time the mortgage companies publish this information (as they are required to) in obscure legal publications that are generally only subscribed to by lawyers, mortgage people and some real estate people. Sites like Realty Trac pick up and consolidate this data and sell the on-line version as a service or make it availabe to attract visitors, so that they can sell ads and other services.

Feb 10, 2011 01:28 AM
Sandra Nixon
EverSand Realty Group - Middletown, NJ

But Kim, apparently these sites get their information from the banks who hold the mortgages.  Isn't it illegal for the banks to publicize a person's financial situation?  I just don't get it.  Realty Trac is fed information on pre-forclosures and foreclosures.  I mean, they have DETAILS about how many months the homeowner is behind, what they owe, etc.  This just isn't right.  What sites are you referring to?

Feb 10, 2011 01:31 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTORĀ®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Wow, this is indeed disturbing....I wasn't aware of this site, and will have to check it out...thanks for making us aware

Feb 10, 2011 02:42 AM
Mike Carlier
Lakeville, MN
More opinions than you want to hear about.

Are you sure that they are publishing information you could not get from your county courthouse?  I think it's all publicly available data.

Feb 10, 2011 07:16 AM
Sandra Nixon
EverSand Realty Group - Middletown, NJ

Mike, I'm sure the court data doesn't include someone being behind on their mortgage by 3 months. I just don't understand why our government allows such personal information to be public through these sites.  Wow just blows my mind!

Feb 10, 2011 08:00 AM