Friday, September 9, 2011

Mortgage Fraud Still At Elevated Levels

The FBI’s 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report recently named Illinois as one of the states with the highest levels of mortgage fraud.  Our Oak Park foreclosure defense firm aggressively fights to protect homeowners in all types of real estate, mortgage foreclosure, and bankruptcy cases.  We understand that there is nothing more frustrating than when the institutions and people who have been entrusted to protect consumers deceive or mislead struggling homeowners.

According to an article in the Summit Daily, the 2010 FBI report shows that mortgage fraud remains at an elevated level even after many scams and scandals have come to light and prompted large-scale investigations.  For example, a settlement still has not been reached in the robo-signing scandal.  Robo-signing refers to potentially fraudulent practices used by predatory lenders.  The term robo-signing can be used to describe a wide variety of fraudulent banking practices or other predatory tactics, including when lenders: fail to record the true and real ownership in public records, file fraudulent affidavits claiming they own the note when they are actually only the servicer, file fraudulent affidavits claiming they lost the note when they never possessed the document in the first place, file fraudulent affidavits claiming that a homeowner owes debt that he or she does not actually owe, file frivolous motions for summary judgment, and employ various methods to avoid questioning by regulatory agencies. 

In fact, robo-signing tactics have caused so much damage that Dory Rand, the president of the Woodstock Institute, recently urged for a settlement in an article in Bank Think.  She argues that struggling homeowners would greatly benefit from a settlement in the robo-signing scandal, which could “buoy confidence that an economic recovery is at hand.”

Even more concerning, the FBI reports that the percentage of mortgage fraud is still elevated today: pending fraud investigations are up 12 percent from 2009 to 2010.  The increase from 2008 to 2010 is a whopping 90 percent.  Specifically, the FBI reports that the fraudulent schemes can include: the reconveyance or transfer of property without the homeowner’s knowledge or consent, the delayed recording of loans, and the filing of fraudulent liens to receive cash at closing.

Chicago mortgage foreclosure fraud has been particularly severe.  In addition to Illinois being named as one of the states with the highest levels of mortgage fraud, Interthinx, a company that provides risk-mitigation solutions, issued its quarterly Mortgage Fraud Risk Report, which announced that there has also been a dramatic increase in fraud in the Chicago area. 

There is hopeful news for Chicagoland residents, however.  While fraud has increased in Chicago in recent years, Kevin Coop, the president of Interthinx, states that the mortgage fraud risk in Chicago recently decreased, too.  This suggests that when investigations rise and past fraud is exposed, the risk of future fraud can go down dramatically.  According to Coop, “when the industry has actionable intelligence and increases its scrutiny of an area, word gets out, and the fraudsters move on.”

Our Chicago mortgage foreclosure lawyers know that the wrongdoers who take advantage of homeowners must be held accountable for their actions.  If you believe that you have been a victim of fraudulent banking or mortgage practices, please consult a legal professional to learn more about your rights and the options available to you. 

See Our Related Blog Posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment