Industry News

Congress to probe real estate fraud

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The Congressional Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, chaired by Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio) will meet tomorrow for a hearing on mortgage fraud and its impact on mortgage lenders. Members are expected to hear testimony on how mortgage lenders and ultimately the market are affected by fraud schemes. On Sept. 17, the FBI reported the largest nationwide operation in its history directed at individuals engaged in various real estate fraud schemes. The number of cases under investigation this year is five times the number of cases reported three years ago. Financial institutions and lenders lose millions of dollars through mortgage fraud each year. Often, those losses are passed onto consumers in the form of higher loan fees. Mortgage fraud is a growing problem in the real estate industry, with more cases coming to the surface in recent years. Perpetrators often are professional real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title agents, appraisers and attorneys, and the complex crim...