Colorado, said to be eighth in the country in real estate fraud, is stepping up the battle against such activity, with a new task force dealing with the issues and several bills in the making, reports said.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers formed a task force this summer to deal with the issues in the wake of skyrocketing foreclosures and complaints, the Greeley, Colo. Tribune reported Sunday.

By January, legislators could be discussing several bills in an effort to stop the problem, the Tribune said.

The Department of Regulatory Agencies will push a bill to register mortgage brokers in Colorado and force them to post a $100,000 bond, according to reports.

The state’s task force on mortgage and foreclosure fraud may recommend a bill that would require any agreements to help someone with a foreclosure be done in writing, and require a cooling off period where someone can back out of any agreement, reports said.

Also, Colorado Bar Association and Colorado Realtors Association may push a bill to streamline the foreclosure process by consolidating the redemption period and the cure period, and extending the period from 60 to 130 days to cure the problem, accounts said.

Finally, mortgage brokers may push a bill to license brokers, reports said. However, even licensure may not stop the problem, the Tribune reported. Colorado is eighth in mortgage fraud incidence, but the other seven states all have licensed mortgage brokers, Suthers told the Tribune.

“We have to do a better job of public education,” Suthers said, according to accounts. “Everyone cannot qualify for a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage at a prime rate. People who can’t do that need to understand that these subprime products carry a lot of risk. And, we’ve got to make examples of the baddest actors and get them out of business.”

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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