Q:I run a title company. Do you think it wise to use the term ‘flipping’ with all the bad press that term has been given lately?

It seems to be the word that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the FBI and other regulators are using.

A: While the art of buying low and selling higher is legal, the practice of “flipping” property as defined by regulators – that is, buying a property at below market value, making modest improvements, and falsifying documents to make it seem that it is worth much more than it really is – is suspect.

If I were you, I’d try to find another word that gets the same meaning across.

April 8, 2005.