Industry News

Obama proposes reforms to combat real estate loan fraud

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Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Tuesday proposed a sweeping set of federal reforms Tuesday to combat mortgage fraud, ratcheting up enforcement and creating a national database of brokers who have been disciplined, the Chicago Tribune reported. Obama's bill would increase funding for federal law enforcement programs, create new criminal penalties for mortgage professionals found guilty of fraud and require industry insiders to report suspicious activity, media accounts said. Mortgage fraud is "robbing thousands of Americans of their dream of home ownership, and costing the mortgage industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year," Obama said, according to accounts. "Congress needs to come to the table and do its part." Obama and the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said they were moved to act by a recent Chicago Tribune series on mortgage fraud, in which swindlers use high-tech identity theft and face-to-face scams to wrest control of homes, then secure hefty bank loans that...