October 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Federal officials unleashed a series of legal assaults on the financial industry, targeting actions they said helped trigger the housing market collapse and then attempted to take advantage of desperate homeowners left in its wake. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan accused Wells Fargo of defrauding a government-backed mortgage insurance program of hundreds of millions of dollars over more than a decade by improperly underwriting more than 100,000 home loans. At the same time, Atty.
October 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON --Since early 2010, a leading civil rights group has helped compile a database of approximately 26,000 complaints about mortgage modification scams -- attempts by fraudsters to take advantage of those hardest hit by the housing market meltdown. The people making those complaints have reported losses of $63 million to the National Loan Modification Scam Database. And the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which manages the database, has filed 10 civil suits in conjunction with other organizations to try to halt mortgage assistance operations in California and New York.
October 9, 2012 |
NEW YORK -- The U.S. attorney in Manhattan has accused Wells Fargo of defrauding a government-backed mortgage insurance program, in another major civil case brought in the wake of the housing bust and financial crisis. The mortgage-fraud suit, filed by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, seeks "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages for claims the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has paid for defaulted loans "wrongfully certified" by Wells Fargo. The suit alleges the San Francisco banking giant falsely certified loans insured by the government's Federal Housing Administration.
September 26, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has completed work on a package of foreclosure-prevention bills aimed at preventing another massive real estate bust like the one that plunged California and the nation into a deep recession five years ago. The governor on Tuesday signed into law SB 1474 by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), giving the attorney general authority to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate and issue indictments for alleged financial crimes, including mortgage fraud.
August 31, 2012 |
Tommy “Tiny” Lister, a character actor who has appeared in nearly 100 movies including “Jackie Brown” and “Beverly Hills Cop II,” has agreed to plead guilty to a mortgage fraud scheme that cost banks $3.8 million. The 54-year-old actor entered the plea agreement Friday, the same day prosecutors charged him with conspiring from 2005 to 2007 to buy homes he could not afford and to withdraw more than $1.1 million cash in home-equity loans that were not repaid. Prosecutors accused Lister and five other people - a real estate agent, a mortgage loan officer, a bank manager, an escrow officer and an accountant - of using falsified records to help Lister unlawfully acquire four homes for $5.7 million.
May 13, 2012 |
Don't even think about fudging on your application for a mortgage by inflating your income a tad, checking the box to indicate you're going to live there when you're really not or exaggerating your job description. Not long ago, people could get away with lies like these to obtain financing. But not anymore. Nowadays, the tools are in place to nab fibbers who just want to buy a house, as well as out-and-out perjurers looking to bilk lenders out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
March 9, 2012 |
A former Countrywide Financial Corp. loan officer has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a nearly $40 million mortgage fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors alleged that Paige Kinney of Phoenix operated the scheme from 2005 to 2007, using “straw buyers” to apply for home loans they never intended to repay. She submitted altered documents, such as bank statements and pay stubs, to make the buyers appear more credit-worthy than they were, prosecutors said.
March 5, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Personalized T-shirts — The Better Business Bureau is warning that a company that sells made-to-order T-shirts has pocketed consumers' money without delivering the goods. The consumer group said it has received more than 100 complaints from consumers who said they paid Personally Yours for personalized T-shirts but did not receive them and could not get refunds. "When making online purchases, the best recourse consumers have is to pay by credit card," said Robert Crockett, chief executive of the BBB serving Southern Nevada.
March 4, 2012 |
Personalized T-shirts - The Better Business Bureau is warning that a company that sells made-to-order T-shirts has pocketed consumers' money without delivering the goods. The consumer group said it has received more than 100 complaints from consumers who said they paid a company called Personally Yours for personalized T-shirts, did not receive them and could not receive refunds. “When making online purchases, the best recourse consumers have is to pay by credit card,” said Robert Crockett, chief executive of the BBB serving Southern Nevada. “In the event of fraud, non-delivery or non-communication with a business, consumers can dispute charges with their credit card company to try and receive refunds.” Ponzi scheme - A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted two people on charges related to a $129-million Ponzi scheme.
February 15, 2012 |
Citigroup Inc. is paying $158 million to settle accusations that it took advantage of a federal mortgage insurance program. In a settlement with the Justice Department, Citi admitted that it provided misleading information about the quality of its mortgages to a federal insurance program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The government provided backing for the mortgages and ended up losing millions when the borrowers defaulted. In the complaint filed Wednesday as part of the settlement, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said CitiMortgage violated the rules of the Federal Housing Administration insurance program for six years until it was subpoenaed in July.