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Last Updated Friday, July 20, 2007, 4:05 PM Texas Time
photo of Coco Salazar

July 20, 2007

Solution Validates Borrowers' Employment Data
A new electronic solution allows mortgage bankers to validate a borrower's employment, phone, address and employer tax ID number within 24 hours.

Tool Automates Broker Validity Check
Lenders now have a tool that automates the license and background checks of third-party originators.

Appraisal's Role in Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud cannot exist without an appraisal and these are often inflated to get excess cash from loans or to please originators, among other reasons.

read story from Explorer

Five Accused of Home Improvement Scam
Former mortgage brokers Scott Almeida and Frank Giffone, along with three others, are accused of participating in a scam that lured low-income borrowers to finance home improvement projects, mostly through loans by Argent Mortgage Co., that never got completed.

read story from Bay News 9

July 19, 2007

MN Seeks Ban on SI Loans
Minnesota legislators are pushing for Congress to pass a predatory lending bill based on a state law that goes into effect next month and will largely ban stated income loans.

read story from Star Tribune

July 17, 2007

Firm Sued for Home Investment Fraud
Two investors, including a loan consultant, allege they are in default on loans due to Marshall Reddick Real Estate Network Inc. using a large portion of their funds for commissions and overhead rather than on building their investment homes.

$1 Billion Fraud
Mortgage lenders and 800 investors may have been defrauded by two individuals who took in nearly $1 billion in what may wind up as the biggest fraud case in California history. The pair, who promised to invest the funds in real estate, allegedly used the money to pay for personal activities and fund offshore accounts.

read story from MortgageDaily.com

Bank Accused of Flipping Scam
A Florida bank, which has already been sued by shareholders and ordered by regulators to abandon an unsafe construction loan program, is now facing a lawsuit from 175 borrowers who claim the bank was operating a flipping scam. Denying that it engaged in fraud, a bank spokesman said the borrowers will be expected to repay the loans.

read story from MortgageDaily.com

Mortgage Fraud Red Flags
Documents that aren't included in the mortgage contract and money exchanged outside of the closing are reasons to suspect mortgage fraud is taking place.

read story from WSFA

ID, Mortgage Fraud Story on Hold
New developments in the investigation of a 25-year old man claiming someone stole his identity and used it to get a mortgage have led a news station to delay broadcasting a story on the matter.

read story from 17KGET

Conference Addresses Mortgage Fraud
New construction mortgage fraud is among the issues that will be addressed in the Dallas, Texas, area this week.

read story from Dallas Morning News

WA Prepared to Combat Mortgage Fraud
Washington mortgage brokers say the lack of funds for mortgage fraud-fighting agents is ongoing but assured that the state has already taken other measures to protect borrowers, such as having surcharges from recorded deeds go toward an anti-fraud fund and requiring loan officers to be licensed.

read story from Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Ponzi Scheme Skims Home Equity
Pacific Wealth Management LLC of Nevada, its principals and related firms are accused of running a Ponzi scheme involving the offering of unregistered securities to investors who were induced to extract equity from their homes to raise investment cash.

read story from Arizona Daily Star

HUD Advises on Avoiding Foreclosure, Fraud
Amid rising defaults resulting from adjustable-rate mortgage resets, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released the top 10 steps borrowers should take to avoid foreclosure and being a victim of mortgage fraud.

read story from The Post and Courier

Inflated Appraisals Drive Up Costs
Appraisals that value homes at inflated prices are among the factors significantly pushing up home prices and taxes over a short time in certain neighborhoods.

read story from MSNBC

Mortgage Info Leads to ID Theft
Asking for mortgage loan account information on fraudulent Web sites or through phone calls is among the methods and more specific questions identity thieves are using to dupe consumers.

read story from Herald Star

2 Accused of Mortgage Investment Scam
Dozens of investors are suing Hendrix Montecastro and James Duncan, who allegedly falsely promised high returns on investment properties on which they inflated values, obtained mortgages but did not repay and skimmed the related home equity.

read story from 10News

Mortgage Employee Charged with Stealing
Denise Murphy is accused of stealing over $10,000 in mortgage closing fees from Northwest Indiana Mortgage by never reporting or logging them with the company.

read story from Post Tribune

Task Force Adds 2 Fraud Convictions
A special fraud task in Michigan has earned convictions on all the cases it has taken to court, including two involving Russell Jenkins Daniels and Leroy Adams, who were respectively sentenced for a deed fraud scheme and for fraudulently procuring titles to properties and obtaining mortgages.

read story from Detroit Free Press

Recognizing and Avoiding Fraud
Mortgage fraud can have a domino effect on the economy at large, occur through inflated appraisals or foreclosure rescue scams, among other ways, and can be avoided by simply refusing to sign any documents that are not fully understood.

read story from Post Gazette

July 16, 2007

Preventing NOO Quit Claim Deed Fraud
Among the steps vacation homeowners can take to avoid having their investment stolen through quit claim deeds is to establish a land trust that can hide the their names from public record.

Man Awaiting Sentence Seeks Passport
Michael Rodd, who awaits sentencing after admitting he participated in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme, wants his passport returned to make a business trip to Zimbabwe.

read story from Kansas City Business Journal

Borrowers Need More Protection
While lawmakers recently passed the Texas Residential Criminal Mortgage Fraud Act, which calls for the creation of a task force against fraud, among other things, still to be resolved are high homeowner insurance rates in the country and the misuse of power by many homeowner associations.

read story from The Dallas Morning News

NAMB Pushes for Positive Broker Image
To stop honest brokers from being lumped into the same category as bad actors who commit mortgage fraud, the new president of a prominent mortgage broker trade group is pushing for a national registry that would list all originators and, among other things, a brand name that would help identify honorable mortgage brokers.

read story from Realty Times

Lawyer Accused of Mortgage Fraud
Authorities arrested attorney Alexander Kaplan on charges of collaborating with 26 others in a subprime mortgage scheme in which he acted as the closing attorney on the fraudulent purchase of 10 properties.

read story from North County Gazette

Man Imprisoned for $1.4M Mortgage Fraud
Fayyaz Ahmed will serve time for stealing the identity of an individual and putting that victim's property as collateral on $1.4 million in mortgages he obtained from five lenders.

read story from Staten Island Advance

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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