Treasure Coast News, Business and Community July 2012 - Page 3

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TCnbc Magazine - 3

What is the Attorney General doing to prevent mortgage

fraud?

District Attorney, Daniel S. McIntyre, along with the Attorney General, is committed to investigating any business that deceives or defrauds a consumer in the mortgage or foreclosure process. The Attorney General's Office has over 500 active investigations and they have filed numerous lawsuits against such businesses and persons, some of which were filed under the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act. In addition, their office has reviewed hundreds of foreclosure rescue businesses for fraudulent or deceptive business practices.

Short Sales:

A Short Sale is where the property is sold, by the mortgage holder for less than the mortgage owed amount. In many cases, these are legitimate sales where the mortgage holder has been rendered without a job or cannot pay the mortgage due to health issues or divorce.

In some cases, it is a strategic default ~ where the mortgage holder decides that the property is not worth what they owe and that it would be more beneficial to them to 'walk away'.

In many cases, those who 'walk away', turn around and buy low cost housing for cash - just because they can - lumping the lenders with the deficit. In a lot of these cases, the mortgage holder has received 'full forgiveness' of debt by the lender. Be warned.. even with full forgiveness, if strategic default can be proven, the lender can - and will - go after the mortgage holder!

Arms Length Transaction:

An arms length transaction in a Short Sale, is one where the buyer has no connection to the seller, either at time of listing, during the listing or after the listing. If it can be proven that the buyer knew the seller during any of those time frames, fraud has been committed and fraud is a felony prosecutable by a jail sentence. Anyone involved in that transaction or connected to that transaction is deemed as supporting the felon and is also likely to be prosecuted.

In addition, investigations have been opened into many of these cases, where the lenders, as well as Federal and State Government, are looking into the movements of strategic default mortgage holders, after the close of their transaction.

If a lender is defrauded with the knowledge of the short sale attorney and or the agent, they are all brought to justice, including the buying and selling real estate brokerage.

If you are aware of fraudulent mortgage activity, contact the Office of the District Attorney, at:

Phone: (772) 462-1441

FAX: (772) 462-1440

Address: 2300 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34982

Mortgage Fraud