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Last Updated Friday, September 5, 2008 10:00 PM Texas Time

September 5, 2008

Fraud Helps Push Delinquency Higher
Recently declining home values have pushed the risk of delinquency higher -- though mortgage fraud plays a big role -- and the risk is likely to continue growing until at least 2010. The riskiest markets continue to be concentrated in California.

RE Investor Forfeits $6.5 Million and Mercedes
Berry Louidort is one of five charged in a mortgage fraud scam involving 37 properties in Palm Beach County and seven in Naples. He is the only one so far that has pleaded guilty.

Two Guilty in $10 Million Mortgage Fraud
Marcia Mestre, 51, and Angela Manalaysay, 35, both of South Florida have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraudand one count of mail fraud.

Dare Sees Another Day in Court
Former head of the Albany Urban League Aaron Dare, 40, was in court again with more charges of mortgage fraud. Dare is accused of filing a false document in a mortgage fraud scheme involving one property in Albany.

Tighter Underwriting Elicits Fraud
The Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI) has found in its new report that mortgage fraud increased 42% from the same quarter a year ago.

Candidates Weigh-In on Mortgage Fraud
Senators John McCain and Barack Obama give their forecast on what should happen to prevent predatory lending. Both candidates favor putting a stop to it but have slightly different ideas on how to take that to task.

September 4, 2008

Compliance Tool Kit for Lenders Gains Traction
New regulatory compliance requires lenders follow new rules. Wolters Kluwer offers a software solution to assist lenders in staying compliant that is being used by more than 180 financial institutions.

Lawyer Guilty of Assisting Mortgage Co. in Fraud
Metropolitan Money Store sought the help of Maryland lawyer Richard Allison, 37, in a mortgage foreclosure scheme that stripped homeowners of their equity and left them homeless. Allison pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

September 3, 2008

FBI Contests L.A. Times Story
The FBI publicly replies to a story in the L.A. Times that suggests they could have done more to prevent the mortgage crisis. Kenneth Kaiser, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said the editorial published was “not a fair or realistic assessment.”

September 2, 2008

Floridian Mortgage Fraud Mastermind Indicted
Magile Cruz, aka Maggie Cruz, Magile Cruz-Rodriguez, Magile Araujo, and Ros Rodriguez, has been accused of masterminding a $24 million mortgage fraud scheme involving 79 properties in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Cruz was listed at the owner of many companies involved in the scheme including Star Lending Mortgage, State Mortgage Lending and three title agencies, Sherley Title Services, Doral Title Services and Professional Title Express. Cruz has pleaded not guilty but if convicted faces up to 60 years in prison.

Regulators Tackle Mortgage Issues
State mortgage regulators met in Minnesota last week ahead of the GOP to discuss important regulatory issues -- including mortgage fraud. Licensing was among the top issues. The American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators Conference held its annual conference in Minneapolis from Aug. 18 to Aug. 22. The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System panel's discussion will likely have the greatest day-to-day impact on mortgage brokers, lenders and servicers.
Read story at MortgageDaily.com

Argent Manager Found Guilty
Samuel Green, account and regional production manager for Argent Mortgage Co., has been convicted of his role in a $13 million mortgage fraud scheme that involved about 130 loans. Green faces up to 60 years in prison. He is one of six accused in the fraud that occurred in Florida; Scott Almeida, Adrienne White, Frank Giffone and Bradford Peck have pleaded guilty.
Read story at The Ledger

Fugitive Found and Sentenced
Corenelius Robinson, 48, skipped out on his sentencing hearing only to be found four days later by law enforcement -- with illegal weapons. Robinson was sentenced to 27 years and three months in federal prison for heading a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme using straw buyers and multiple properties in Austin, Texas.
Read story at The Statesman

Fraud’s Eye View
An analysis of the recent Mortgage Asset Research Institute’s (MARI) report suggests that fraudulent activity is still on the rise due to stricter guidelines. Stringent mortgage loan guidelines are opening the door for “straw buying” schemes, using one’s good credit to purchase a home for an unqualified borrower and other types of mortgage fraud.
Read story at Star Tribune

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