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Tag Archives: Fraud

FBI Cracks Down on Mortgage Fraud Schemes Across the Country

As the housing market struggles to get back on its feet, one element holding it back is the prevalence of fraud that increases in times of trouble. In December the CoreLogic Fraud Index revealed fraud losses for 2010 were estimated to be $11 billion. In the past week, the FBI has reported several convictions for mortgage fraud schemes all over the country. The agency says scams involving false promises and fraudulent sales pitches will continue to be a major focus.

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Homeownership Preservation Foundation Receives $1M HUD Grant

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is the sole recipient of a $1 million Mortgage Modification and Mortgage Scam Assistance (MMSA) grant from HUD. The grant will enable HPF to continue as the primary ""call to action"" for HUD's anti-scam campaign to assist victims as well as educate and warn distressed homeowners about foreclosure prevention and loan modification scammers.

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SEC Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Former IndyMac Executives

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged three former executives at IndyMac Bancorp with securities fraud for misleading investors about the lender's failing financial condition. The executives, former CEO Michael Perry and former CFOs A. Scott Keys and S. Blair Abernathy, allegedly filed false and misleading disclosures about the financial stability of IndyMac and IndyMac Bank F.S.B. and continued to sell millions of dollars in new stock. Abernathy is the only one of the three who has reached a settlement with the SEC.

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Attorneys General Close to Making Agreements with Top Five Servicers

There has been no shortage of reports of state attorneys general seeking accountability from servicers that they allege mishandled foreclosures. Now it's being reported that attorneys general in all 50 states are near to reaching settlements with the nation's top five mortgage servicers, including Bank of America and GMAC Mortgage. The states are looking to develop separate agreements, rather than one encompassing settlement; and they plan to pursue a civil investigation rather than a criminal one.

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HUD Awards $73 Million to Housing Counseling Organizations

The Obama Administration announced on Thursday a round of grants totaling nearly $73 million to more than 500 national, regional, and local organizations to provide housing counseling services. Agencies receiving the grants will focus on helping homebuyers and homeowners understand their financing and down payment options, and will help combat predatory lending by assisting borrowers with reviews of loan documentation. The new round of grants represent a 22 percent increase over last year's funding.

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FDIC Launches Investigation of Officials of Failed Banks

In a move reminiscent of the last time the United States was in such dire financial straits, the FDIC announced recently that it has begun an investigation of executives and other employees of failed banks. In the 1980s and 1990s, the savings and loan (S&L) crisis prompted the government to investigate and prosecute hundreds of bank insiders, sending more than 1,000 to prison, and collecting $4.5 billion. This time around, the FDIC has opened more than 200 civil cases and is seeking to recover around $2 billion.

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Crimes that Contributed to Historic Default Levels May be Creeping Back

Trends are emerging that indicate ""fraud for property,"" i.e. fraud to attain homeownership, is returning to the industry. The analysts at Interthinx reached this conclusion after witnessing steep increases in two of the four types of mortgage fraud the company tracks. According to the firm's quarterly report released Monday, its risk indices for employment/income fraud and identity fraud in mortgage applications have both jumped more than 20 percent over the last year.

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Corelogic Announces Launch of Short Sale Monitoring Technology

CoreLogic has announced the launch of its new Short Sale Monitoring Solution. The company says it's the industry's first short sale fraud prevention and pricing technology. The solution alerts lenders to ""risky"" pending and closed short sales. It matches details against other pending loan applications in CoreLogic's database and public records for the same property, and continues to watch properties for a period specified by the lender after short sales have closed.

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Indiana Attorney General Cracks Down on Foreclosure Companies

This past week Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed lawsuits against three for-profit foreclosure companies, claiming they have not complied with the state's statutes by demanding money up-front for services not yet performed. Zoeller has formed a Homeowner Protection Unit (HPU) meant to track down foreclosure consultant companies that may be operating illegally in Indiana or are failing to comply with Indiana's new laws meant to protect consumers.

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FTC Bans Deceptive Marketers from Selling Mortgage Relief Services

As part of an ongoing effort against scams that target financially distressed consumers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned several marketers from selling mortgage modification or foreclosure relief services. According to the FTC, the marketers allegedly charged homeowners up-front fees and falsely claimed they could get their mortgage modified or prevent foreclosure on their homes. Settlements regarding these allegations have been met through three separate actions.

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