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FBI Wants Mortgage Records Kept Longer

The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are asking Congress to require mortgage companies to retain records for at least 10 years in order to better facilitate fraud prosecutions.
Rita Glavin, acting head of the Justice Department's criminal division, told the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing last week, ""Requiring those who provide real-estate settlement services to maintain appropriate records for 10 years following the original date of a loan would significantly assist in the investigation of mortgage fraud.""
According to Glavin, half of the top 10 originators of risky, and sometimes suspect, subprime mortgages at the height of the housing boom in 2006 have since been sold or gone out of business and their records have disappeared or been destroyed.
The FBI is currently looking into about 2,100 mortgage fraud cases, a 400 percent increase from five years ago. FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the House committee that the agency now has more than 250 agents dedicated to mortgage fraud investigation, more than double the number in 2007.
Included in President Barack Obama's budget proposal for fiscal 2010 is funding for an unspecified number of new FBI agents to be added to the mortgage fraud and white-collar crimes investigation teams, as well as increases for other financial enforcement agencies.
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to expand the scope of bank- and financial-fraud legislation to include non-bank mortgage companies, and on Monday, several federal agencies, including the Justice Department, announced an ""aggressive crack down"":http://dsnews.comindex.php/home/news_story/2797 on mortgage fraud involving foreclosure rescues and loan modification scams which prey on vulnerable homeowners in fear of losing their homes.

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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