Industry News

Massachusetts may criminalize mortgage fraud

Governor rolls out plan to address rise in foreclosures

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing legislation that would criminalize mortgage fraud, prohibit abusive foreclosure rescue schemes and require mandatory preforeclosure filing notices to troubled borrowers. The legislation is part of a broader plan to address a rise in foreclosures, which the governor said will also include increased consumer assistance and education efforts and tougher licensing requirements for mortgage lenders and brokers. Patrick said a "comprehensive approach" is required to help homeowners facing foreclosures. The governor's plan would implement many of the recommendations in an April 11 report by two working groups. The groups, formed in the wake of a November summit meeting led by Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks Steven Antonakes, included participants from government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the mortgage lending industry....