Speaking of mortgage fraud soon be a felony offense, back when we were tracking craigslist rental listings for freshly closed condos at One Rincon Hill a plugged-in tipster first provided the following tip in March of 2008:

Public Records info is interesting. What it shows me is that several new owners at One Rincon either have or are about to commit occupancy fraud. This is often overlooked and dismissed by those involved including mortgage agents, however, it is a serious issue. Owners sign occupancy affidavits at the close of escrow, and unless their deed of trust includes an “assignment of rents” rider, the property is owner occupied. My public records search shows 68 units have closed. I’m sure more have that don’t show up yet and I’m also convinced that my list of properties for rent is smaller than actually what is or has already been rented.

According to our tipster’s analysis at the time at least ten and as many as sixteen of those 68 units (i.e., between 15 and 24 percent) closed as “owner occupied” purchases but were immediately advertised on Craigslist for rent. And at least three (3) of those “fraudulent” purchases were made by licensed real estate agents.
Perhaps those ten to sixteen were the only bad seeds out of all the buyers at One Rincon and other new developments about town (rather than ~20% of purchases if one were to extrapolate from the numbers above).
Then again in the words of our tipster: “How many units have already been rented that haven’t been advertised or [escaped my analysis] above?”
Same Same But Different: 425 1st Street #2103 For Sale (Or Rent) [SocketSite]
The Seven Samurai Deadly Sins New Mortgage Laws [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    If I walk in to a store and walk out with a 40 oz. Malt Liquor after pointing a gun at the checker and telling him I don’t have to pay for it I will probably serve hard time for my $2 theft, but if I lie about owner occupancy and my income to buy a rental condo, then lie about my income and where I live again to “liberate” a couple hundred grand of “equity” that a sleazy appraiser and his friend the four point fee mortgage broker get me I will just get a black mark on my credit for my $200K theft (and I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for getting an extra couple grand when they lease the place for a year paid in advance just before the foreclosure sale)…
    P.S. In the mid 90’s just after grad school I was working to buy pools of bad loans and we had one guy offer the residents in all 30 units of a S. Cal apartment great deals if they paid in advance. Most people just took half off the next month’s rent, but one couple paid 35% of the years rent for a pre-paid year lease. The courts and the police did not care at all that some guy just stole close to $100K in rents…

  2. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Honesty is the best policy.
    [Editor’s Note: Do keep in mind that #2103 was one of those units that appears to have originally closed without an “assignment of rents” rider.]

  3. Posted by Paul Hwang

    If you have something to say, why don’t you just say it?
    Are you implying that I fraudulently took out a loan for a property at One Rincon Hill?
    [Editor’s Note: Not at all, simply that at the time of our tipster’s review of the One Rincon Hill deeds no “assignment of rents” rider appeared to be in place for unit #2103.]

  4. Posted by Paul Hwang

    What does my statement “Honesty is the best policy.” have to do with 2103 and “assignment of rents”?

  5. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Let the record show:
    1) I’m not the owner of 2103.
    2) I don’t have any loans on properties at One Rincon Hill.
    3) If you want to hang Jean Valjean that’s your business, but I would advise you to get your facts straight before you send him to the gallows.

  6. Posted by Fishchum

    Paul, the editor’s comments probably stems from your statement that “honesty is the best policy” when someone involved in the transaction you were party to clearly wasn’t being honest. Your statement rings a little hollow.

  7. Posted by anon

    I have been a loyal socketsite reader and certainly support the open forum, but I think this post has taken things too far. Its one thing to point out when someone overpaid, or lost their home as you love to do, its another thing to post details about potentially fraudulant behavior when you do not have all the facts. I have no relationship to any of these owners, but I think it is inappropriate to post these types of items, in fact one could argue this is slander.
    [Adam’s Note: The facts as stated are simply that at the time our tipster reviewed the deeds #2103 did not appear to have an “assignment of rents” rider attached while at the same time was listed for rent on Craigslist.
    The Editor’s Note above was not intended to imply that Paul was the owner, but to simply tie it back to a listing which we previously covered (and on which Paul might be able to shed some light).
    And for the record, “Honesty is the best policy” is a comment with which I completely agree.]

  8. Posted by Embarcadero

    Truth is a positive defense in any slander case. If Paul Hwang was the agent involved in the sale of 2103, it doesn’t necessarily mean he committed fraud.
    But it does make one wonder whether he knew that the occupants did not intend to live in the apartment. Perhaps he has knowledge of extenuating circumstances.
    I’m all ears.

  9. Posted by Fred

    I think the editor should remove all the posts on this thread from Paul Hwang, IF Paul Hwang so requests.

  10. Posted by Dave

    Also, the “owner occupancy riders” that I’ve signed in the past seem pretty unenforceable; they state that it’s the purchaser’s intent to occupy the property at closing and the purchaser agrees to do so.
    But if the purchaser’s situation changes a month or even a day after closing, I don’t believe the lender has any standing to prevent them from moving out and renting the property. Of course, if they could prove that the purchaser had no actual intent to occupy, that would be fraud, but it seems that intent is pretty tough to prove one way or another. If the purchaser never moved into the subject property, they’d probably have to have a pretty compelling story to convince a judge that they intended to move in but couldn’t.
    I once bought a property myself and signed an owner occupancy rider, moved into the property, a month later got a job offer I couldn’t refuse which was out of the area, so I moved and rented the place out. I was 100% in compliance with the contract I signed, as my intent was to occupy (and I did, briefly.) So I don’t think you can make accusations about specific properties without understanding the individual circumstances. But it’s probably accurate to guess that many of the rented properties were never owner occupied and the purchasers never intended to occupy them.

  11. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Is Socketsite going to be held accountable for the ethics of all the posters on this site?
    Am I to be held accountable for all the actions of my clients?
    What is the difference?
    If Jean comes up to me and says, “Paul, I am hungry and have stolen a loaf of bread.”
    Who am I to judge him?
    [Adam’s Note: Sorry Paul, please see my note to “anon” above.]

  12. Posted by J

    Also, the “owner occupancy riders” that I’ve signed in the past seem pretty unenforceable; they state that it’s the purchaser’s intent to occupy the property at closing and the purchaser agrees to do so.
    Like I said in the other thread. They now have you sign something that is more than declaring your intent. You state that you will live there for 12 months, and if you wish to rent it out before that, you must get written permission from the lender.
    What can happen is once they try to re-sell your loan in the secondary market, they do a 2nd underwriting, in which they may check the name on the utility bills, drivers license and vehicle registration address, insurance, etc.
    One of the most glaring red flags is if there is no water and electricity setup within a few months of the closing date.

  13. Posted by David Martin

    Since you’ve opened this can of worms. How bout full disclosure. 2103 was originally purchased by Edward Hwang. Straw buyer, relative or just a coincidence he shares your last name?
    As for your last reference, are you comparing mortgage fraud for greed with a poor man stealing bread?

  14. Posted by Fishchum

    Paul, all the posters on this site don’t come on and post “honesty is the best policy” with a holier-than-thou attitude when they’ve been party to a transaction where the intent of one of the principals may have been less than honest.
    That’s the difference.

  15. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Yes David, I am in fact related to every Asian Person in the world, and I do know every person of chinese ancestry that ever attended UC Davis.
    Please give my regards to your brother Steve.

  16. Posted by anoon

    I believe the owner of the unit can use this as slander and think most of this post should be removed. I have nothing to do with the transaction but when people start to throw out assumptions about others, it’s taking it a bit far.
    I agree with the above poster that it’s ok to post info about positive/negative sales but today’s topic is sort of irrelevant.

  17. Posted by Paul Hwang

    You’re right, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that posted here before. Sorry if I sound “holier-than-thou”, I’m just trying to be the best person I can be.
    If someone tells me something, I believe them.
    I’m not involved with the mortgage process for my clients and I don’t want to be. Not because I want to turn a blind eye, but rather I do not want to know the intimate financial details of their lives (just like you probably don’t want to know about your friend’s financial details).
    If someone is behaving wierd or unethical I do try to avoid them. Occassionally I am suprised by the decisions people make. Buy like I said, I’m not here to judge them or their decisions.

  18. Posted by tipster

    I side with Paul. Paul has no duty to the lender to enforce some agreement that the lender had with the owner. Even if the owner is Paul’s twin brother, Paul never signed up to enforce any such agreement.
    And the lender could have cared less if the owner burned the place to the ground. That loan was sold off 50 different ways to Sunday before the ink was dry, and no one had enough skin in the game with any single loan to have investigated whether the building was even standing, let alone worry about whether a performing loan was being used for a rental.
    The game was this: the investment bankers took B or C rated loans, sold off the top tranches (holding first rights to repayment) as AAA securities, and used their shareholders equity to hold the remainder crap. Through clever accounting wizardry, they booked everything as profits and paid themselves bonuses because of these fake profits. But the accountants couldn’t manufacture cash, so when they ran out of their shareholders cash that was being lost and paid out as bonuses, the whole thing collapsed.
    China bought up all the good parts of the loans they could because they knew that money would flow right back to them, so they didn’t really care. Pension funds bought up the rest, and their managers paid themselves bonuses because they were getting above average returns for risks that, while AAA rated, very few of them believed.
    So the WHOLE THING on the American’s side was basically bonus theft. It was a way to pretend you earned a bonus when in fact you were just playing dumb and robbing the people who trusted you with their money. China picked up the rest because they thought they could manage our economy the way they, as communists, manage theirs. The collateral was merely incidental to the Americans getting their bonuses.
    Which one of these clowns do you think gave a rats ass what people were doing with their property – as long as you bought more Chinese crap and the Americans got their bonuses, no. one. cared. If THEY didn’t care, what did you expect Paul to do? Refuse to rent out a unit on behalf of an owner?
    Paul is about the least culpable person in the whole chain. Honesty is the best policy, and you can still be an honest person even if you sometimes deal with people who are doing dishonest things. Paul was doing nothing wrong. I just can’t see how anyone can hold him to a higher standard then the holders of the loan itself, and I can assure you, they didn’t care.
    The post isn’t irrelevant: laws are being changed. It’s helpful to know.
    And, BTW, in some countries, Hwang/Huang is about as common as Davis or Miller is in the U.S.

  19. Posted by Imjussayin

    That’s BS and you know it, tipster. Enough with passing the buck. Everyone involved in fraudulent activity (if they have knowledge) has some level of responsibility. Judging is one thing; helping is another!
    And on the topic of “slander,” I would argue that while virtually everyone on here posts anonymously, Paul Hwang has chosen to attach his name to his posts, thereby – arguably- making himself a public figure for purposes of increasing his real estate business. No? And there is no doubt that this is an issue of public interest. Lawyers – correct me if I’m wrong here. Isn’t there a different standard applicable here.
    And Paul – you never answered the question: What is your exact relationship to Buyer Hwang?

  20. Posted by auden

    Imjussayin, maybe Paul is raising his visibility as a real estate broker, and maybe also- just maybe- he is taking responsibility for his words and not hiding behind a cowards handle like the rest of us.

  21. Posted by Embarcadero

    Again – Truth is a positive defense against a charge of slander. That is, it’s not slander if it’s true.
    Paul, did you know that the buyer of 2103 did not intend to reside there?
    How many of us actually believe that the widespread fraud in RE wasn’t fueled by the kind of loose ethics we see every day in this industry. Does a RE agent have a duty to enforce a clause in a contract between a borrower and a lender? Of course not.
    Did RE agents, mortgage brokers and others make a fortune (now being extracted from the pockets of taxpayers) by knowingly assisting in the financing and purchase of real estate by buyers they knew were lying?
    Is there anyone here who doubts that this wasn’t just a widespread practice, but was the dominant practices here in SF in buildings like One Rincon?

  22. Posted by Paul Hwang

    No fraud committed here.
    “Fiduciary”: Learn it, live it.

  23. Posted by Embarcadero

    That wasn’t the question.
    The question is whether you knew that the buyer of 2103 did not intend to live in the apartment.
    Did you?

  24. Posted by Paul Hwang

    I would have to review that file, to see if that was the representation.
    People tell me something, I believe them.
    All things being equal, if you tell me your name is Embarcadero, I believe you.

  25. Posted by Capt. Jack

    Paul, do you know who will win the World Series?
    Paul, do you know how to fix health care?
    Paul, what’s the best exit strategy for the war?
    Paul, what should I buy my wife for christmas?
    Paul, are you going to answer my questions?
    Embarcadero,move on with the questions.

  26. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Paul, do you know who will win the World Series?
    NOT THE YANKEES (Sorry Mark.)
    Paul, do you know how to fix health care?
    Paul, what’s the best exit strategy for the war?
    Paul, what should I buy my wife for christmas?
    Paul, are you going to answer my questions?

  27. Posted by Embarcadero

    I think we have our answer.
    I suppose the “honesty is the best policy” thing is something we believe in, but more in an aspirational kind of way.
    Let me offer another take on this: trust and verify.

  28. Posted by J

    Apparently honesty is not the best policy for maximizing your paycheck…
    The willingness of people to look the other way is what leads to the regulation of the industry.

  29. Posted by missionite

    Slander requires an untruthful statement. SS has only published facts, and has further clarified those facts. Therefore, no slander. On an ethical level Mr. Hwang opened the door to this by a) advertising his services on numerous ORH related comment threads and b) weighing in on a subject he has a vested interest in and opining “honesty is the best policy”. At that point I don’t think it is out of bounds to point out there are open questions that are germane to both the original subject matter of the post in general, in particular, and with regards to Mr. Hwang.
    IMHO the only scandulous behaviour so far is Mr. Hwang defacto accusing Mr. Martin of racism (in the form of thinking all Asians know each other) without issuing a blanket denial of the question at hand. I think the question is fair and unrelated to race. If both parties were named any common name (i.e. Smith for example, or Garcia, or Johnson, etc.) we would rightly and fairly be asking the same question. There are exponentially more people with different surnames than common ones, so any coincedence of commonality should be explained as such. This is SOP at any journalistic outlet where they will say “no relation” after discussing two people with the same last name.
    The fact that Mr. Hwang threw out the accusation of racism, and simultaneously failed to answer the question is deplorable. Mr. Hwang should either issue a blanket denial or an apology. To let things stand where they are is ethically unacceptable. If you don’t like being asked questions about your business dealings then don’t post on public message boards advertising your services.
    Props to SS for having journalistic integrity and backbone. If this is an indication of things to come count me in as a reader.

  30. Posted by Paul Hwang

    What’s your name, phone number and social security number?
    This is fair question since you decided to opine your learned legal opinion.
    You decline? Oh… therefore you are a space alien.
    Live long and prosper.

  31. Posted by J

    It must be Red Herring season…

  32. Posted by viewlover

    HOw many bankers told buyers that the properties were worth 20% more than they were lending and that they would be able to refinance when the rates adjusted? The clause of occupancy is for setting the proper interest rate given the risk. So now the same banks feel betrayed? Give me a f-ing break. Everyone was in for the joy-ride and no one predicted that the taxpayer would ultimately pay the price for the widespread honesty.

  33. Posted by anonn

    HOw many bankers told buyers that the properties were worth 20% more
    I don’t know. Not many? “bankers” “told” buyers?
    As far as the leases are concerned, how many people who posted here have specific knowledge that owners did not use the properties for 12 months? or that they did not acquire specfic license to rent? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that developers would be more inclined to sign any such licenses over the past year and a half of a stagnant condo market?
    ANd if you don’t have anything cogent, then why say anything?
    [Editor’s Note: Speaking of cogent and “specific knowledge,” keep in mind that at the time of this analysis One Rincon Hill had only been open for a month.]

  34. Posted by anonn

    [Editor’s Note: Speaking of cogent and “specific knowledge,” keep in mind that at the time of this analysis One Rincon Hill had only been open for a month.]
    So? Which of those 16 did not have an “assignment of rents” clause? Were you sure that the three you call “fraudulent” did not?

  35. Posted by Marque

    So? Which of those 16 did not have an “assignment of rents” clause? Were you sure that the three you call “fraudulent” did not?
    I think that was precisely the point of the original posting. Re-read the original posting to get your answer.

  36. Posted by anonn

    I think that was precisely the point of the original posting. Re-read the original posting to get your answer.
    No, I reread it and it’s merely speculation, judgement, and buzzwords like “fraudulent” and “bad seeds.” No journalism is apparent. It reads as if each and every one of them might have an “assignment of rents” clause.
    [Editor’s Note: Try again. According to our tipsters analysis for which unit numbers were provided, of the sixty-eight units which had closed at the time ten specific units were being advertised for rent on Craigslist without “assignment of rents” riders attached to their deeds. Of those ten, three were purchased by licensed real estate agents (which didn’t include #2103). And another six units were being advertised for rent on Craigslist at the time but for which our tipster was unable to determine if a rental rider existed (hence our “at least ten and as many as sixteen of those 68 units” statement above).]

  37. Posted by missionite

    Mr. Hwang,
    No one has asked you for your social security number. You have chosen of your own free will to post your name and phone number (via your website which you link to from your every single one of your posts). Clearly I have not chosen to do the same, so suggesting I am obliged to make the same choices as you or face being branded a space alien is Reductio ad absurdum to the 9th degree and not in any way related or comparable to the matter at hand.
    Since you have chosen to let the accusation of racism stand, and in fact have gone even further and accused me of being a space alien, I will in my own defense take a moment to point out some public information which may reflect on your credibility:
    1. Edward Hwang has an address listed in the white pages ( as 425 First St, Unit 2103.
    2. Clicking on Paul Minn Hwang, Age 41, on a sponsored ad for reveals 9 related people, one of whom is Edward Hwang.
    It’s possible that this is just a coincidence, but if so it’s a remarkable one, particularly given your accusation of racism to those that suggested there may be a relation.
    The ironic thing here is that I am personally not convinced there is any great crime in changing your intentions with regards to a property you own. While the bank is certainly entitled to have accurate information, the burden is still on them to not lend more than the property is worth, that the buyer can pay the mortgage, and to make sure that the buyer has enough equity that if the buyer defaults the bank can still be made whole by foreclosing on the property. So count me out when it comes to those who think this should be a punishable crime.
    On the other hand I think it is absolutely reprehensible to throw out baseless accusations of racism. It cheapens an argument that should only be made under the most serious of circumstances. And that deserves to be called out.
    If you don’t want to answer a question then don’t answer it. If you don’t want people to know what you are doing, then don’t post on public message boards what you are doing. If you don’t want people to examine your ethics or integrity, then don’t talk about your ethics or integrity.
    But don’t accuse people of being racist unless you are dead serious and ready to back it up to hilt.
    I have nothing further to add to this thread.

  38. Posted by anonn

    being advertised for rent on Craigslist without “assignment of rents” riders attached to their deeds.
    1. Why didn’t you specifically say so to begin with? You merely said they went to rent, and that rent agreements are necessary. Not that they went to rent sans agreements. 2. How did your tipster have the ability to review many others’ lease agreements?
    [Editor’s Note: From the original post above, “…closed as “owner occupied” purchases but were immediately advertised on Craigslist for rent.” And prior to that, “unless their deed of trust includes an “assignment of rents” rider, the property is owner occupied.”]

  39. Posted by Dave

    I don’t know Mr. Hwang (or anyone else posting here, so far as I know.) But his comments have led me to believe that he walks an ethical line of his own making; one where he chooses to “believe” whatever he is told (even if he knows it to be false), presumably when such “belief” will allow him to remain on the right side of his ethical line when facilitating a transaction. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting, but his statements about “I believe whatever people tell me” imply that he does so (or pretends to do so) even when those statements are in conflict with other facts.
    To me, that’s not ethical, or honest, even in the slightest; at best, it’s semi-plausible deniability. Based on what I’ve read here, I wouldn’t work with this gentleman on either side of a transaction. The fact that he’s dodged nearly every question put to him without answering, and deflected with unfounded accusations of racism, merely adds fuel to the fire.
    Sadly, I think there are/were plenty of agents who would accept a clients assertion that they planned to reside in a property, while simultaneously helping them to rent it.

  40. Posted by anonn

    I don’t want to belabor this further. But you have no way of knowing what the terminology in the contracts really meant, or where the various agreements fell. Owner-developer, developer-lender, owner-lender? The numerous “Owner occupied” purchase contracts your unnamed informant supposedly saw may very well have been “owner occupied” but with a separate rental agreement between developer and buyer. And who would be at fault there?
    [Editor’s Note: Not quite. We’re not talking about an analysis of purchase contracts but rather deeds of trust.]

  41. Posted by eddy

    Paul lost my trust when he seemingly fabricated a story on his baker street listing trying to justify the price reduction and subsequent increase. He concocted some far-fetched story about the owner demanding the ask price be raised since some other buyer (who failed to close, btw) offered as much. Huh? Why not just give factual information, or just state the buyer had a change of heart on asking price. That place still hasn’t sold.
    You know what they say. Nothing like free publicity. And all publicity is good. Well done.

  42. Posted by theloanphd

    The information is a matter of public record. If the intent is to rent, the lender includes an “assignment of rents” document that is signed by the borrower AND recorded with the county. If borrower states they will occupy, this document is not provided. Determining occupancy is a different story. But, when borrowers sign closing documents and state they intend to occupy, and the property shows up on Craigslist being offered for rent it is fairly obvious they have committed fraud. But since everyone just looks the other way, realtor, mortgage broker, lender, and developer, they all think it is ok.
    Unit 2103 could be a text-book case in my opinion. The property closed escrow as owner-occupied, and soon thereafter was listed for sale/rent. More than likely this was a “flip” that never materialized. I share Dave’s opinion above, and I’m sure there is still more to the story of 2103.
    Some of you have short-term memory loss regarding the events that occurred when One Rincon was first offered for sale. Insiders and “friends and family” were able to secure contracts at pre-public prices. Several real estate agents entered into contract on units here, some subsequently assigned their contracts to related or third parties at a profit, and I believe the developer was paying sales commissions to brokers at that time also. Greed was in full bloom. This artificial demand drove up prices to the ridiculous levels some wound up paying. Some walked away rather than close escrow as the real estate collapse became more apparent. You know the rest of the story.

  43. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Are you saying that I am a racist?
    I don’t follow your logic.

  44. Posted by Paul Hwang

    There were in fact multiple offers $2+ million for Baker. I would have loved it if one of them got closed.

  45. Posted by J

    Are you saying that I am a racist?
    I don’t follow your logic.
    Straw man argument: based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position

  46. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Yes, you are correct I was misrepresented.
    Thank you for your support.

  47. Posted by J

    No one represented you as a racist… What did they miss?
    This is clearly all to distract people from the questions that were asked of you.

  48. Posted by ppc

    Wow, multiple offers for Baker? What happened to all of those offers? With the construction going on next door for a long time, being at the end of the street where, at night, car lights would constantly shine through the living room, the strange master bedroom/family room layout, and the garage that won’t accommodate a large car/SUV (the arch and door), I’m rather surprised. Good luck with the listing.

  49. Posted by eddy

    @ppc, no reason to beat up Paul over the quality of the Baker listing or even the asking price. Not really his fault. He inherited the listing and any bagage that came along with it.
    @Paul, thanks for the clarification. The logic on the price decrease and subsequent increase doesn’t really make sense and the story told to me, by you, at the open house about how the owner raised the asking price due to other higher competitive offers. Anyway, it’s been many days since it fell out of escrow with the higher price. Obviously the owners ‘strategy’ isn’t working.
    Separately, is the fact that a home is in default with the bank, or in foreclosure proceedings a required disclosure?

  50. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Y, those are mandatory disclosures, and everything else that is material to the deal also. It’s better to disclose everything, or it will just come back to you later anyways.
    Well there have been a couple of offers since it came back, but nothing has soldified yet.
    I don’t understand what doesn’t make sense:
    1) The owner hired me, and I recommended a price (less than what it was listed for previousely with someone else, which did not sell).
    2) We got 5 offers within 2 weeks.
    3) The offer we decided to go with fell out because of financing.
    4) Then the owner was like, “Well we should be able to get this price then.”
    5) I gave my opinion, got my instructions from my client, and I executed them.
    Why is that so unbelievable, that you have to claim that I fabricated the whole thing? Do you really think that I am that stupid to do that?

  51. Posted by Embarcadero

    “Why is that so unbelievable, that you have to claim that I fabricated the whole thing? Do you really think that I am that stupid to do that?”
    Do you really want an answer to this question?
    Given your responses above, I think any reasonable person would have cause to question your ethics and your judgment.

  52. Posted by eddy

    Maybe it would have make sense if the sellers strategy worked. Or if after not working, the listing reverted to the strategy that actually got the home into contract. But as it stands, the story still seems to be suspect. Your further clarification still does not add up. I’ll take you at your word, and apologize. Sorry. FWIW, I don’t think I claimed you fabricated, but I may have strongly suggested. it.
    FYI – I thought your sub $2M strategy was the right one, and still do, if the owner actually wants to sell this place.

  53. Posted by missionite

    I have to confess that I am not impressed with your intelligence Paul.
    You expect us to buy your “hey look at that puppy” attempts at distraction, your ridiculously obvious straw man arguments, and your poorly conceived accusations that strain both logic and publicly available evidence.
    As this thread has progressed my opinion of you has gone from “annoyingly self promotional but otherwise dedicated realtor” to “creepiest guy on Socketsite hands down”.
    If I hear that any of my tech industry friends are considering working with you please be assured that I will go to heroic lengths to make sure that they find someone else to work with.

  54. Posted by Embarcadero

    FWIW, this is what corruption looks like. People allow themselves to have such distance from the moral consequences of their actions that they’re no longer able to see a moral choice at all.
    The question to Paul isn’t whether he facilitated RE fraud – for which we’re all currently paying very dearly. The question for him appears to be whether he made statements that could be proven to be lies in a court of law. His sense of ethics seems to be limited to maintaining plausible deniability.
    He may be the creepiest guy on SS, but I doubt he’s the only one who suffers from poor ethics and judgment.

  55. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Someone tells me I want to buy and house and move there.
    Then after we close tells me, hey I got into a car accident / lost my job / don’t want to live there because what I read on Socketsite, can you help me rent it out?
    What am I suppossed to say to him, “Sorry that you’re in a coma, but I can’t.”?
    There is nothing unethical here and there is no fraud.

  56. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Thank you in advance missionite, you are exactly the type of person I try to avoid.

  57. Posted by Legacy Dude

    The sign on the highway may say 65. But how can I be erring by going 70 when everyone around me is going 80?

  58. Posted by Paul Hwang

    What if you give me a ride and tell me you are going to obey all the traffic laws, and then we get going and you start driving 70?

  59. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Apology accepted. Believe me, I want to sell that house.

  60. Posted by Embarcadero

    Is that what happened with 2103? Earlier, you said you’d have to check your records.
    So, just to confirm:
    – You do not know this person socially and had only a single RE transaction with him, correct?
    – You had no knowledge of his intent to rent out the apartment when you served as his agent?
    Would you be willing to answer these questions?

  61. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Quid Pro Quo:
    1) What is your phone number?
    2) What is your name?

  62. Posted by Paul Hwang

    I’m sorry, forget (#2), I forgot that you are representing that you are Mr. Embarcadero.
    Just want to confirm that’s what you typed when prompted after “Name”, before posting.

  63. Posted by Embarcadero

    I’ll take that as a confirmation of your involvement in the scam. It won’t stand up in court, but wow, you look awfully slimy.
    You hold yourself out as the “honesty is the best policy” guy; you put your name and annoying website on every post.
    How much swindling goes on there, Mr. Hwang? Did it stop, or is it ongoing?
    BTW – this thread has been circulated around my office. There are lots of interested readers, all of whom will avoid your ethically challenged RE practice. Or perhaps they’ll seek you out because, after all, you’re clearly willing to look the other way.

  64. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Mr. Embarcadero,
    I have nothing to hide, that’s why I don’t post anonymously.
    Circulate it to the whole world! This thread is self evident of who is being duplicitous.
    Man up and let me face my accuser, or continue hiding. It really makes no difference, because my point is made either way.

  65. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Just to be clear, I will repeat myself:
    There is nothing unethical here and there is no fraud.
    By the way, you are really not that anonymous. I already know who you are.

  66. Posted by embarcadero

    Wow. From “honesty is the best policy” to threats in just a few posts. So, what are you going to do, expose me?
    You made claims to honesty, charged others with racism, and tried desperately to divert attention from the obvious questions that arise from the 2103 transaction.
    Not working out too well, is it?
    I call your bluff. You haven’t a clue who I am, but you’d like me to be scared. I’m not. I really have nothing to hide.

  67. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Of coarse I know who you are, you are Mr. Embarcadero!

  68. Posted by Embarcadero

    Are you trying to divert attention away from your involvement in the 2103 transaction and onto your magical, psychic, stalker abilities? Or are you just trying to massacre what’s left of your public reputation and image by making threats?
    Fortunately, who and what you are are matters of public record.

  69. Posted by Paul Hwang

    “I really have nothing to hide.”
    – Embarcadero
    Sorry, didn’t mean to threaten you. Not sure what you are talking about. You are Mr. Embarcadero correct?

  70. Posted by Embarcadero

    Just drawing a productive, rhetorically appropriate contrast between your convoluted writing and murky ethics, and the fact that your threat of exposure is meaningless because I have nothing to hide.
    I could also view it as a lie: you haven’t a clue who I am, but you’d like me to think you do. So, is it a lie, or a threat?
    That help?
    Now, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Have you stopped looking the other way in the interests of RE fraud? If not, are you waiting until the practice you engaged in in 2103 becomes a felony in the state of CA?
    I’m interested in knowing the signals that would alter your sense of ethics.

  71. Posted by Paul Hwang

    There is no fraud and everything is ethical.
    Do you have some kind of evidence that a fraud was committed?
    You are Mr. Embarcadero correct?

  72. Posted by diemos

    What a waste of a thread.

  73. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Sorry deimos, it is a waste. You are right. I apoligize for my part, but unfortunately I have to respond to these allegations.

  74. Posted by Embarcadero

    We do Paul. The purchaser of apartment 2103 – probably a family member of personal friend of yours – appears to have misrepresented his intentions in order to obtain financing.
    Did you read the thread?
    Further, you refuse to answer any of the obvious questions that arise about your role in the transaction. Instead, you focus on attacking those who ask the questions.
    The questions are asked, by the way, because you asserted your honesty, together with a marketing message, at the very beginning of this thread.
    So, will you clear up the matter that you started? Or are you just going to go on attacking others and assassinating whatever shreds of your character or reputation are left after this sad episode?

  75. Posted by Realtor

    As a Realtor I understand Paul’s fiduciary duty to his client in not discussing the details of the transaction, however Embarcadero seems to be out to destroy Paul. There are currently quite a few agents hanging on the sidelines of the business as things slow down and many are being forced to leave all together. I sense jealousy in this thread. Paul has done quite well and I often enjoy his openness on this forum as an identified Realtor. On the other hand I see how dangerous it can be to open up on a public forum and “chat” with anonymous people who have nothing to lose.

  76. Posted by eddy

    @Realtor, totally agree. Why on gods earth would a deer paint a bulls eye on their chest and go hang with the deer hunters. Reminds me of one of my favorite “Far Sides”. Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.
    See name link for the accompanying cartoon. 🙂

  77. Posted by anonn

    None of you have seen the deed. You’re relying on someone’s say so of another anonymous person’s say so, and you’re screaming fraud. Bad form.

  78. Posted by Ned_Ryerson

    Well anonn, this could have all been put to bed days ago if Paul had answered Embarcadero’s questions. After all, he got this nonsense rolling with his finger wagging “honesty is the best policy” quip.

  79. Posted by chuckie

    Paul spouts inanities, half-truths and outright lies on this site to garner free publicity. His MO seems to be that no publicity is bad publicity. I bet he brings in a bunch of traffic to his site each time he makes himself the topic on this site.
    Now Edward Hwang was the buyer of 2103 and Paul Hwang was the agent. The relationship WILL come out, it would be better if Paul accepts his role in the deal instead of “honesty is best policy” and “If someone tells me something, I believe them”.

  80. Posted by Paul Hwang

    No lies, no fraud, nothing unethical.
    Honesty is the best policy.
    Free publicity is good.

  81. Posted by chuckie

    “Free publicity is good.”
    Sheriff: Boy-in-balloon was hoax, charges expected
    Ethics shmethics!!

  82. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Ethics are good. I am for ethics.

  83. Posted by Embarcadero

    The question, Paul, is whether you have any, or would know the difference between having and not having ethics.
    Since Paul refuses to answer these questions, I think a little snooping is in order.

  84. Posted by My Name is Anon

    Yawn, this is getting really old Embarcadero.

  85. Posted by Paul Hwang

    The anwer is Yes, I do have ethics and I know the difference.

  86. Posted by Embarcadero

    That’s anything but apparent from your refusal to answer fundamental questions (that you brought up), or from your threats or your attacks on those who ask obvious questions.
    No reasonable person could fail to doubt your ethics. Your aversion to sunshine is quite telling.
    I’m not going to pretend that I’m not slightly amused by your meltdown. Like Fluj, you seem oddly attracted to an airing of your own dirty laundry and mental state.
    This industry is unwinding; you and Fluj both provide nice cautionary tales about what that unwinding will look like for estate agents.
    It reminds me of my favorite exchange with a realtor who told me, in 1998 as he was making flatly untrue representations of a property, that “some realtors lie about everything, not me, I only stretch the truth when absolutely necessary”.
    Your mentor?

  87. Posted by anonn

    Yet this post remains? ^^
    There’s no unwinding happening in my world, Embarcadero. The cautionary tale you refer to I think is the scenario in which 15 posters attempted to belittle me for a property they predicted would end up badly. I showed them all in short order how utterly wrong they were. Funny how memory can work on dullards.

  88. Posted by Paul Hwang

    You are not a party to the transaction, and you are the one with an aversion.
    If you have a question, grow some rocks and come see me in person.

  89. Posted by EmBarkAttackadero

    just found this thread weeks late… I’ve often found some of PH’s comments a bit odd, but embarcadero: “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not slightly amused by your meltdown.” (and missionite’s comments) is the meltdown here. Embarc’s coworkers must have been snickering behind his back that day for being an obnoxious toad. it seems your biggest gripe was that somehow “Yes David, I am in fact related to every Asian Person in the world, and I do know every person of chinese ancestry that ever attended UC Davis.” is an accusation of racism. It looks to me like an attempt at a joke, and a point – albeit an indirect way of getting at that point. How on earth is that racism? Are you a Limbaugh reverse-racism fan?
    And then “I know who you are” obviously made your chest thump because you totally over reacted and missed yet another joke. He was saying “I know you by your whacked out views and non-stop attacks – ie I know you are a jerk”. He DID clarify by (again indirectly) pointing out that he doesn’t know your real name, yet you continued your moronic attack.
    Congrats to the host of this site for allowing such an obnoxious thread get out of hand. Since it’s still here, I’d like to take part and call names too…. but it’s emBark and missionite who are the douches in this thread. I’ll happily apologize and request my comments removed if embarcadeo and missionite do the same… or how about remove all comments after the first few?
    As for PH… yikes my man… virtually nothing you say on SS gets you any cred… I’m on your side here, but you still come off badly.
    But one last point… as a Realtor his Baker St story makes perfect sense. If you’ve never Listed and sold a home before, you should not judge. I’ve had this EXACT thing happen to me and I’ve seen it happen to other agents. In fact I’ve got one very, very similar now. As PH states – “i want to sell it”. Do you think we advise our clients to do things that won’t work? Ultimately they make the final decisions, and usually when it’s against our advice it costs both them and us money.

Comments are closed.

Recent Articles