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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Daily Real Estate News  |  December 4, 2009  |   Mortgage-Related Fraud on the Rise
This year, the FBI expects to track an estimated 174,000 reports of suspicious activity for mortgage-related fraud–a 276 percent increase over 2008.

Hard-hit states like Arizona, Michigan, California, and Nevada have been especially aggressive in fighting this kind of fraud. Sen. John Kyl, an Arizona Republican, has cosponsored a bill that would protect home buyers from fraudulent practices and provide $200 million for states to combat scams. President Obama created a federal task force Nov. 17.

Sometimes it is hard for victims–and law enforcement officials–to tell the good guys from the bad. For instance, an organization called United Law Group has gotten both recommendations from other lawyers and numerous complaints from clients who say they paid United Law thousands and got no help.

The State Bar of California recently placed the attorney who started it, Sean Rugledge, on “inactive enrollment” for alleged misconduct related to loan modifications. A spokesperson in his office blamed complaints about the organization on unresponsive banks.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, Lourdes Medrano (12/02/2009)

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