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Texas AG Hosts Mortgage Fraud Summit

""Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott"":http://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov welcomed state and local authorities, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and other Texans from the real estate industry to the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Mortgage Fraud Summit in Austin on Monday.
In the summit’s keynote address, Attorney General Abbott highlighted the OAG’s prosecution of a multi-million dollar criminal mortgage fraud scheme in Northeast Texas. He said two defendants have already been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for engaging in criminal mortgage fraud, and two additional suspects are awaiting trial. Abbot explained that many victims of the fraud scheme lost their homes to foreclosure after the defendants inaccurately completed loan applications and falsified supporting documents.
Abbott said, ""Federal, state, and local officials must work cooperatively and proactively to crack down on mortgage fraud. The [Mortgage Fraud Summit] offers officials from multiple agencies an important opportunity to exchange information and share experiences. Together, we can make a difference for Texas homeowners and help prevent one of the nation’s fastest growing crimes.""
Several panels of experts spoke at the summit meeting, including Matt Gravelle, special agent with the FBI-Austin; Chris Day, special agent with the FBI-Dallas; Jim Amorin, president of the ""Appraisal Institute"":http://www.appraisalinstitute.org; and Tom Morgan with the ""Texas Association of Realtors"":http://www.texasrealtors.com. Attorneys from the OAG’s Consumer Protection Division, along with county and district attorneys’ offices, presented information about law enforcement efforts to detect and stop fraudulent mortgage transactions.
Panelists discussed the latest mortgage fraud trends, including foreclosure rescue fraud and falsified loan applications. Speakers also addressed potential legislative solutions, techniques for identifying suspicious banking transactions, and the necessity for law enforcement agencies to share information.
Attorney General Abbott says he will continue to go after schemes that target Texas homeowners. The OAG has taken legal action against a variety of mortgage-related practices, including shutting down eight foreclosure rescue scams. Attorney General Abbott also secured $21 million in restitution for Texas homeowners who were harmed by lending giant Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and obtained another $7 million for Countrywide Financial Corp. customers who lost their homes to foreclosure.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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