Home > Mortgages > California “Strike Force” Will Target Mortgage Fraud at All Levels

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California will start its own mortgage fraud “strike force” to investigate alleged corruption at every stage of the lending process, from loan origination through the sale of mortgage-backed securities, according to a recent announcement by Kamala D. Harris, the state’s attorney general.

“Families are losing their homes, while those who perpetrated crimes and frauds against them walk free,” Harris said in a press release. “(W)e will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who take advantage of trusting California families.”

The strike force will have 25 attorneys and investigators spread between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fresno. One team will focus on crimes against consumers, including deceptive marketing, predatory lending, and scammers offering bogus loan modification and foreclosure avoidance programs. Another team will specialize in large-scale frauds, including money laundering and illegal investment schemes. The third team will focus on corporate crimes, especially in the area of mortgage-backed securities sold to investors.

At the press conference announcing the strike force, Harris was joined by Los Angeles mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending.

“The fingerprints of illegal activity are all over the foreclosure crisis,” Leonard said. “The Attorney General’s effort marries the need to punish bad actors for the practices that brought our economy to the brink with the need to eliminate the scam artists who have since attempted to profit from it.”

Villaraigosa also welcomed the new effort, since Los Angeles witnessed nearly 10,000 foreclosures last year. In 2010 there were 546,669 foreclosure filings in the state.

[Related article: New Legislation Aims to Curb Mortgage Servicer Abuses]

Image: Erin Pettigrew, via Flickr

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  • http://bradandjessie1970.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    ….Waiting to see which huge international corporations will be investigated and which millionaire CEO’s will be prosecuted… Seeing is Believing !! Check out my blog : it’s about real estate investment groups and their affiliations : http://bradandjessie1970.blogspot.com/

  • William J. Rose

    I lost my home to a false foreclosure in ’99. A double-whammy came when I sued the bank and went to court with all the proof you could possibly have that the loan was current (and not “5 payments behind” as the bank claimed) and the judge never looked at my evidence, blew the case through in one day and slapped ME with a judgement for the bank’s defense!!!!

    To complete the task force, they need to go after the judges who perpetuate/participate in the mortgage fraud process. Like Judge John Meyer, Dept. 61, San Diego Superior Court. He’s still on the bench…..I’m homeless.

  • MK

    I wrote The AG K. Harris and explained how I was ripped off by Steve Hertz of Hertz law group.She wrote me back and said”Thank you for your letter but we cannot help individuals.We can only build cases against fraudsters”. WHAT? ANOTHER GOVERMENT JOKE.. JERRY BROWN WAS THE LAST AG JOKE…AND NOW WE HAVE A NEW ONE. Worthless California employees…Stand up for a news opp and lie to everyone for political points.Just keep feeding the minions more lies and do nothing because you were bought and paid for by the Unions and Mortgage Bankers. Every Californian politician and public employee is a thief and a crook.DON’T BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL HELP ANYONE..

  • Lyndel C. Head

    2011 is the 50th of my 55 yrs. of age that I’ve resided on family owned property in Kingsburg Ca.,and looks like will be my last.The last acre of what started out as 20 was Gift Deeded to me in 2002 by my now deceased mom with the “Home Place” house. And my 2nd dwelling mobilehome there since 1991 to enable me to care, and then beginning in 2001,Total Care for her, until her passing mid-2002.I shopped a loan for improvments only asking for 20K as the place was free and clear of debt. A loan officer at Honey Mae told me,”no problem”. But after weeks passed advised me his boss said 40K was the least,a few more weeks later 60K,and the day before wiring the money told me,”I put another 5K in the loan,if you don’t need it just make payments with it.” Renters, a.k.a. Squatters, caused me to default,and 1 day before foreclosier auction I was issued a 3 month Forebearance.Upon making the 1st of those payments I then sold my most prized possession,a 1934 Plymouth Cpe I had 75% restored over a period of 32 years.I paid all late payments,charges,fees,penalties,and interests,as per my then mortgager,H.S.B.C. USA quoted me was due.I made the 2 additional forbearance payments and was anticipating communications from H.S.B.C. USA as to a loan modification offer they made at the time the forebearance was issued.I found it odd I recieved no reciepts for the nearly $5500.00 I had sent them in that 3 month period.I couldn’t seem to get the right department to return letters or taake my calls.I recieved 3 or 4 identicle letters from them threatening I needed to pay my property taxes,which were just due.I did so and sent them a photo copy. But still didn’t know what amount my next monthly payment was to be.On that month I came home one day of the first week of that month and found a 3-day notice to quit on my door stating I was the former owner and an equity purchaser, M.R.O.Investments Inc., as the new owner. Nothing was ever posted noticing me of the alleged trustee auction on the property,I wasn’t given notice by mail , I wasn’t able to produce , by my own research, any newspaper notices, I was ignored for my request for a QWR. M.R.O. Investments Inc. bribed my tenants with a check for $2500.00 to relocate, eliminating my only source of income , due to being disabled. Which is yet another nightmare experience ongoing with S.S.I. , Medi-Cal , Human resources ,Yata ,Yata, WOW! I’ve lived on $200.00 a month Food Stamps for the last year I’ve been fighting an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit,of which I just got ruled against, 7-7-11 and facing a lock out date of 7-20-11 @ 6:01 am. I have no where to go,no money,no vehicle, no phone, I’ve sold off accumulated possessions,furniture, airlooms,etc. I am now trying to liquidate litteraly,down to my 5-man tent . All attorneys I’ve talked to want $10,000.00 retainers. Stick a fork in me. My family left me a resource , hard worked for , so that I wouldn’t need to be cared for by the State Of California, before going on to be with the Lord. I thought us Americans took better care of our own , I would humbley appreciate help. sincerely…………………………………………..Lyndel C. Head…………7-16-11

  • Joyce Jones

    I was wondering if I can get some help in understanding the foreclosing procedures
    I was doing a short sale since august 2010 my agent did everything that was requested by my mortgage company she had two buyers that was willing to pay more than what the company was asking for the first one was in august buyer offer almost 4 thousand more
    then the last buyer was 2 thousand more I received escow papers ready sign and return then they foreclose on 5-26-11 I was told that this was Fraudulant on how they handle this When my agent call the company they just tell her why are we even talking about this the house have been sold) and now they telling her that there were never a negotiator even tho she have been speaking to him. Now they will not return her calls or e-mail Did this company do something wrong any information will be greatly appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lacayohome lacayo

    Email: lacayofamilyhome@gmail.com

    I wish they would more fast enough to look at our case regarding a wrongful foreclosure due to fraud from Bank of America/Chase Home Finance/Fannie Mae.
    Attorney General, please help!!!

  • Steve

    Start with the Department of Real Estate (DRE) who protects their own. If every mortgage broker in Calif. was investigated you wouldn’t have a DRE. Then go look at the Title Escrow Companies to find the documents that are missing or wont give up without a subpoena. This will lead you to all the bankrupt mortgage originators that can’t be found. After that you’ll find the lenders had already been charged by the SEC for stated-income and accounting fraud and settled. Buy a home? Never again!!!!!!

  • boots

    AG of california must start cleaning up the foreclosing attorneys in Ca such as McCarthy & Holthus, Pite Duncan, Quality loan Servicing Corp. NDex West, ETS Trust, T.D. Trust Co. and many more debt collectors who are in concert with the loan servicer, Title Co. to mass produce manufactured documents created by LPS and many more fraudsters including real estates brokers.

    • http://bradandjessie1970.blogspot.com/ Jessica

      Who owns NDex West ?

  • Euel Allen

    AG K. Harris, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. We as the people in the state of California there is no way that we can save our home and ourself with out your deportment stepping up as you have done. May god bless you at all time.

    Euel Allen
    Oakland CA

  • adria

    great idea, I wonder if it will be effective.

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