Mortgage fraud targeted by prosecutors, new law

Capital News Service
LANSING – The long arm of justice is eventually nailing some of the scam artists whose mortgage frauds contributed to the national recession, according to the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Detroit and Grand Rapid. Federal court convictions and a new state law are part of the effort to attack mortgage fraud. Michigan had the seventh-highest foreclosure rate among the states in 2010, according to a FBI report. “Mortgage fraud is a serious problem in the state. Every day, scam artists take advantage of people desperate to keep their homes,” said Joy Yearout, deputy director of communications for Attorney Gen. Bill Schuette.

State declares war on mortgage con artists

Capital News Service
LANSING – State officials have ramped up efforts to stop scam artists who falsely promise to help homeowners escape foreclosure. In Michigan and in other states, scammers pledge to help homeowners modify their loans to avoid foreclosure. Modifying a homeowner’s loan typically involves changing the rate, the terms or the principal of the loan. The scammer will often take an up-front fee of up to $2,000 and pocket it without helping the homeowner, said Jodi Mercer, the program manager for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Since 2009, Michigan’s attorney general has received 811 complaints of loan modification scams and charged 28 individuals or companies for the crime, said Joy Yearout, the deputy director of communications for the attorney general.