July 06, 2007

I thought you'd all like to see the new FBI Mortgage Fraud Warning that (supposedly) all new homebuyers will get

Too bad its about six years and trillions of dollars too late, but hey, it makes us feel good


EconE said...

So if they put everybody that committed mortgage fraud in prison how would that affect the tax-payers? Prison is pretty expensive I hear. Not to mention, housing inventory would definitely go through the roof.

I doubt very many consumers will be prosecuted. I would assume that they'll find out who the mortgage brokers were and then go after them.

Anonymous said...

FBI lacks resources to fight boom in mortgage fraud

Mortgage fraud cost banks and consumers at least $1 billion last year, but neither the Bush administration nor the Democratic Congress is giving the FBI the resources it needs to combat the problem, according to an industry group. The Mortgage Bankers Association, which represents home-loan lenders, has been asking for $6.25 million to fund 30 new Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents as well as two federal prosecutors and 15 regional task forces combating an explosion of fraud.

The association says banks can't get law enforcement agencies to investigate most cases. And the problem is not limited to a few victims.

"Almost every lending institution out there has been affected by it," said Deborah Leibel, a senior loan officer at HomeStreet Bank and president of the Puget Sound Mortgage Lenders Association, which has members in Pierce, King and Thurston counties.

The increase in mortgage fraud has developed in the post-9/11 era as Bush administration budgets have drastically reduced the number of special agents the FBI has to investigate crime. That's because the administration failed to budget for replacements for 2,500 agents reassigned to investigate terrorism.

A Seattle P-I investigation found that white-collar crime investigations have dropped more than 60 percent since 9/11 and convictions have dropped by about 30 percent.

Many of the FBI's trained financial investigators have been reassigned to investigate terrorist finances. That puts investigators at a disadvantage to knowledgeable insiders who can create sophisticated, multimillion-dollar schemes.

"They generally know how to work the system. These are tough cases to prosecute," said Corey Carlisle, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"You're hearing banks talk about 'marketing your cases' to law enforcement," he said.

And the cases can be huge. Industry figures put total losses to fraud at more than $4 billion last year.

The FBI pegs the figure lower -- at $1 billion. But that covers only federally insured banks -- not loans from many companies that resell loans to investors.

Such companies have been the fastest-growing segment of the industry, and are more likely to be the victims of fraud, Leibel said.

Locally, mortgage fraud has not reached the epidemic levels found in places such as California and Georgia, in part because the state has adopted strict new licensing requirements for mortgage brokers, including criminal background checks.

In addition, most mortgage fraud comes to light through foreclosures, and the foreclosure rate is low in this region's still-growing real estate market, said Merle Sharick, vice president of Mortgage Asset Research Institute.

But the national figures show a worrisome trend.

Dollar losses in 2006 were close to quadruple what they were in 2003 and the number of cases has increased by a similar amount, according to the FBI.

As a result, while banks reported more than 59,000 mortgage-related frauds to the FBI last fiscal year, the bureau obtained only 263 indictments and 204 convictions. Meanwhile, the backlog of mortgage fraud cases under investigation has more than doubled since 2003, from 463 to more than 1,000, according to FBI figures.

An FBI spokesman in Washington, D.C., said it is forming partnerships with other agencies and with groups such as the Mortgage Bankers to make up for the lack of agents it has available.

"We realize that we sometimes have to do more with less," spokesman Steve Kodak told the P-I.

Carlisle said the lenders appreciate the efforts the FBI's does make -- which have included task forces and a few high-profile investigations -- but that making a real dent in the problem will take dollars and cents.

"They're strapped for resources," Carlisle said. "They're doing everything they can, but they need to do more."

The problem hits consumers everywhere in several ways: by driving up the fees lenders charge for mortgages, by falsely inflating property values when scammers run up the cost of housing and by throttling property values when foreclosures due to fraud leave vacant houses.

Not only is fraud becoming worse, gangs and organized crime have entered the picture.

Eager to get the benefits of robbing a bank without the risk, these groups are increasingly involved in mortgage fraud, according to the FBI and the mortgage bankers group.

Bankers sought the money to beef up the FBI's fight against mortgage fraud from the Republican Congress in 2006 and the Democrats this year. It was not included in the spending bills recently written by the House Appropriations Committee, but could be added when the Senate tackles the bills this summer.

The money also was not included in the president's proposed budget to Congress.

The Mortgage Bankers proposal joins a plan by Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., to add 1,000 new agents to the FBI's criminal division. So far, neither has received a congressional vote.


armed said...

Whats the problem? People lived beyond their means then had to go back to living within their means. It would be like if I were to spend the night with Paris H. I can't afford her and in the morning I would have to leave(inspite of her begging). It would be like treating yourself to a vacation, come Monday morning you have to get back to your own miserable life.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. More driving by the rearview mirror.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Keith. I just reported Casey Serin to the FBI tip line.

Suggest you all do the same.

Til he goes to jail, no one will believe the FBI is serious about procecuting mortgage fraud.

armed said...

If there is a Mortgage Fraud Warming send Al Gore. He knows more about warming than anybody.

Anonymous said...

No chance mortgage brokers are going to voluntarily give that out

AlQuata said...

Mortgage Fraud the new terrorist! Hang the bastards!

Anonymous said...

I bet its a lot more than $1B a year. I bet that stat is like 5 or 10 years old.

J. Edgar Hoover said...

FBI. What a joke. Still waiting for them to mention 9/11 on OBL's most wanted poster Wait. They can't. OBL was never indicted by a Federal grand jury for any role in 9/11.

Anonymous said...

A warning .........ooooooooooh!

That should do the trick!

Shakster said...

Whatever,all part of the dog and pony show for the voters.

Frank@NeverColdCall.com said...

If there is a Mortgage Fraud Warming send Al Gore. He knows more about warming than anybody.

Next that nutjob will be blaming the mortgage brokers for global warming.

turdly said...

Anonymous said...
No chance mortgage brokers are going to voluntarily give that out

July 06, 2007 10:32 AM

It will be of no regard to a buyer.

RegZ didn't stop them, TIL didn't stop them. All caps bold 15 point font on the note didn't stop them. Felony notice on a 1003 didn't stop them. Out and out lying didn't stop them. Doing business with a broker that was a shoesalesman 3 months ago didn't stop them.
The only reason a fraudulent buyer will even slow down regarding this fbi form is if they mandate it be in color. That would make it the only color doc in the file. It would have to be printed seperatly, inserted by hand, use a different electronic storage system, just to make it color. A broker could add $700 in fees and call it 'FBI mandate articulation fee'.

It's more money for brokers in the way of a new fee.
RegZ came out and brokers added $1500 in fees. I doubt anyone can remember a deal where someone didn't sign because of a disclosure.

ItsMe said...

Its true until Serin does time no one will believe they enforce it.

They should bust him and add a photo of him in jail to the warning. THEN ITS REAL.

He is so well known fraudsters will say 'Serin didnt get caught, Im doing it too'.

The real problem is the Broker,Lender,Underwriter, Appraiser,Realtor,all defrauding the ultimate investor. (the California pension fund apparently is the ultimate bagholder) and the chinese.

Imagine all the poison in our food/toothpaste the Chinese will add once thier toxic leveraged 10-1 hedge fund 'investments' stop paying 20% and they cant get thier money out.

Feed the pets chicken+rice mix. Use baking soda+water for toothpaste! nothin is safe.

Ron said...

Yeah this will strike fear into people like the warning at the start of a DVD....ewwwww scary!

Blah blah blah....action will speak volumes over hollow threats.

chris g said...

If anyone is following the story of Casey Serin, why should anyone be afraid of the FBI? Not only did Casey commit mortgage fraud at least 8 times, he has publicized the whole thing for 10 months now. And yet the FBI does nothing.

ef be eye said...

More like $1 billion in fraud uncovered by Inspector Clouseau and another $99 billion slip under his nose.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like the FBI warning on video tapes?

That sure stopped everyone from copying video tapes. LOL

stuckinthecity said...

If everyone that committed mortgage fraud goes to jail, how will they pay for their houses?? hahahah

coffee is for closers still in the U.S said...

I figured it would have Casey Serin's picture on it instead of the FBI logo...

Anonymous said...

I was worried about family members close to bankruptcy until I watched Serin walk around pretty much trouble free from all his financial shenanigans. Why worry. So they end up with bad credit and have to rent BFD.

AuAgPb said...

If everyone that committed mortgage fraud goes to jail, how will they pay for their houses?? hahahah

For those that took back a few bucks, they get a larger loan and a tax rate on the higher selling price. Not smart, but they get a nice penalty to think about.

For those that took back hundreds of thousands of dollars AND never made mortgage payments, jail time with bubba the cellmate will be needed. If not, why the hell am I following the rules??

Anonymous said...

The 'victims' of the Temecula mortgage fraud scam now have a blogsite. They state they were 'victims' of con-artists who "...targeted active-duty/retired military, the church community, the retired and elderly, and the FILIPINO COMMUNITY (greedy investors).

They claimed that we would see financial independence in 3 years if we gave them control of our finances and trusted them." And they end the opening paragraph with '[these con-artists] claimed to be Christians.'

What is really ironic here is the how these 'victims' got here in the first place. These folks saw the booming real estate market, got greedy and wanted to capture large amount of unearned wealth, and when the devil showed up as the Montecastros, they flocked to them with open arms.

Think of this another way. You get a group of 400-800 greedy investors. Each wants in on the latest get-rich-quick scheme. Each agreeing to buy 4-5 homes that were meant for real families. By the action of these greedy investors the prices skyrocket for these real families.

Even if the scheme succeeded, the groups' would-be-profits would have been off the backs of hard working real families squeezed out of homes because these 'victims' hoarded up all the available home supply.

...and these folks claim to be Christians...


Paul E. Math said...

Okay, storytime.

A friend of mine who was a career bartender recently went to work doing sales for a very large subprime lender (Household Finance). He said most of the guys he works for think Boiler Room is one of the coolest movies ever made.

He also had to go to a day-long 'training' seminar that started with a guy who walked in like he was cock of the walk and slapped his bmw keys on the board-room table. He said "I drive a bmw. My wife drives a bmw too. She doesn't work. What's up?" Like everyone was supposed to be impressed.

As you can imagine, I laughed pretty hard when I heard that one. Dead rip-off of a crappy Ben Affleck movie.

These subprime slime are still at it.

Anonymous said...

FBI has plenty of manpower to prosecute mtg fraud. They have so much time on their hands that they can hassle michael moore and the 9/11 rescue workers.

Anonymous said...


The horse is out the barn, down the country dirty road, and clear into the next county!!!!

Welcome to Scamerica!!!!!!

Anonymous said...



Any Sign of a Market for Sellers Returning?
by Steve McLinden
Friday, July 6, 2007
provided by

Dear Steve,
When will the real estate market regain momentum and become a seller's market again?
-- Khoi

Dear Khoi,
Yours is among dozens of similar questions I've received in recent months, some of which are written in dire and even frantic tones. Lo, do I wish I had a neat "light at the end of the tunnel" answer to put your minds to rest. But as you suspect, it's still pretty ugly out there for sellers in many U.S. markets, where sales of both new and existing homes have fallen steadily since the housing boom ended in late 2005. Alas, the quick and painless slump that we all hoped for isn't happening.

Let's look at some hard facts:

More from Bankrate.com:

• Should You Buy or Rent?

• Selling a House in a Buyer's Market

• Survivor's Guide to ARM Resets

Last month, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the percentage of mortgages entering foreclosure in the U.S. -- about one in 172 loans -- in the first quarter of 2007 was the highest in more than a half century, with sub prime borrowers suffering the worst. Thousands of recipients of those adjustable-rate mortgage loans are seeing rates adjust beyond their means. Banks and other lenders are responding to the wave of foreclosures by tightening their loan criteria, pushing some potential buyers to the sidelines.

Meanwhile, home-builder confidence is at its lowest mark in 16 years. Median homes prices continued to drop as mortgage rates inched up over the last year. Currently, existing-home inventory in the U.S. stands at over eight months and is six months for new homes. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month the residential market, "will likely remain subdued for a time" until more progress is made working down the backlog of unsold new and existing homes. Some economists say the worst of the sub prime foreclosures are still ahead of us and that overall home prices must dip from 5 percent to 8 percent further to break up the logjam of unsold homes. A report by Merrill Lynch says a record 2.2 million single-family homes and condos are on the market, or nearly one million above normal levels. Ouch!

Hardest hit, not surprisingly, have been regions of the country that enjoyed the most rapid value growth during the boom: California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona. In those regions, investors accounted for up to a quarter of housing sales before the bottom fell out.

But there is a smattering of encouraging news that some say is akin to spotting that first robin at winter's end. Economists no longer fear a housing-related recession. The retail and service economies seem to be weathering the American public's diminished ability to tap into home equity to finance consumer spending. Most job markets are stable. Mortgage rates have leveled out in recent weeks and the stock market is at record levels. Homebuilders, who have ratcheted down their production significantly in faltering markets, say there are some signs of growing strength in Midwestern and Northeastern markets. Some housing experts point to smaller declines in the industry's already diminished vital statistics as indications the market bottom has been reached.

But don't panic, Khoi. There are strategies you can use to help weather a down market. For now, I stand with other industry observers who expect a mild turnaround by mid 2008 and even better results by spring of 2009. However, I doubt we'll see the return to the kind of robust sellers market we enjoyed from 2000 to 2005 for many more years.

To be honest, no one really knows the "whens" of a housing turnaround. What we do know from history is that slumping markets always regain their posture and that when they do, there is substantial upward momentum.

Good luck!

Copyrighted, Bankrate.com. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

Why are most of the posts targeting consumers like the dork Casey?

It's the con artist brokers that should go to jail, not the stupid victims.

Those con artist are running rampant in South Florida still, selling all immigrant populations from Central and South America the "dream" of home ownership... all backed by these scummy companies.

The consumers should be PROTECTED by the FBI because their the victims who lose everything while the morgage brokers are all off on their yachts.


Anonymous said...

"Why are most of the posts targeting consumers like the dork Casey?

It's the con artist brokers that should go to jail, not the stupid victims."

The consumers are the ultimate greedy bastards that are happy to rake in money in a good market and the first to cry foul in a bad market. The consumers should be hit with the fine and jail time. Bet that will be the last time they lie on their loan application, if they can ever get a loan again.
I've had consumers come to me begging to commit loan fraud so they could make a buck. I said no - and told them why, and they went somewhere else for the loan. Now they are busted and blame it all on the loan officer. They are the same scum that sue over everything. What ever happened to Personal Respossibility in this country?

dufus mcpanic said...

Prison is too easy for these scum. I say put them in chain gangs and make them build the border wall and clean up the environment. They will receive $10 credit/hr to go towards repaying their fines and the money they stole through fraud. This way we won't have to house and feed them and give welfare to their families while they are in prison. They can go to work during the day and spend their weekends repaying their debt to society for the next few decades. Anyone who refuses can choose to go to prison with Bubba and Tyrone.