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Georgia State Senate Unanimously Approves Bill Criminalizing Foreclosure Fraud (HB 237)

Georgia State Senate Unanimously Approves Bill Criminalizing Foreclosure Fraud (HB 237)


 

PRESS ADVISORY

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Georgia Senate Unanimously Approves Bill Criminalizing Foreclosure Fraud

Today, the Senate unanimously approved HB 237, legislation that will make foreclosure fraud a crime in Georgia. Currently, Georgia law criminalizes fraud during the mortgage process, but specifically does not penalize similar fraud on the back end of the loan – at the foreclosure process.

Attorney General Sam Olens thanked the Senate for their overwhelming bipartisan support of this crucial measure. “Georgia’s current mortgage fraud statute is insufficient and must be revised to criminalize fraud throughout the entire lending process, including foreclosure,” said Olens. “Just last month, 49 state attorneys general reached a $25 billion agreement with the Nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to settle rampant fraud which occurred nationwide during the foreclosure process.”

“I applaud the members of the Senate for recognizing that Georgia urgently needs a law protecting borrowers during every stage of the lending process. I am grateful for the leadership of Senators Bill Hamrick and Jesse Stone for shepherding the bill through the Senate. I look forward to continuing to work with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Rich Golick, on gaining final approval for HB 237 in the House of Representatives, where it already passed last year 168-1.”

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National mortgage fraud scandal spreads to the judiciary

National mortgage fraud scandal spreads to the judiciary


EXAMINER-

While the U. S. Department of Justice is actively prosecuting mortgage and foreclosure fraud, a national organization that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure has evidence that certain state judges appear to be protecting lawbreakers.  Billions of dollars have been received by corporations in the foreclosure industry since the Great Recession began.  Are these vast sums of money finding their way to elected state judges and politicians?

CHOESTOE, GA – June 11, 2011 (Examiner.com) – Amid the splendor of pristine mountains, waterfalls and springtime flowers in one of America’s favorite vacationlands, a passionate lady-with-a-cause, presented evidence yesterday that could shake the judicial system to its foundation.   While helping families facing foreclosure, her non-profit organization has recently stumbled upon very questionable judicial actions in several states. The evidence is overwhelming that the powerful foreclosure industry not only has inappropriate influence over state court systems, but is using threats and economic pressure to stymie investigative efforts and legislative regulation.

Continue reading [EXAMINER]


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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Goes After Own Fraudclosure Settlement

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Goes After Own Fraudclosure Settlement


BLOOMBERG

Oklahoma Plan

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is seeking an alternative settlement with banks that respects “the appropriate role of attorneys general,” his office said in a statement today. The settlement could be a model for other states, Pruitt said.

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Georgia Joins Dissenters Opposing Writedown Plan in State Foreclosure Deal

Georgia Joins Dissenters Opposing Writedown Plan in State Foreclosure Deal


BLOOMBERG

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said he has “significant concerns” about a proposal to reduce loan balances for some homeowners as part of a settlement of a nationwide foreclosure probe, joining at least seven other states that have criticized such a plan.

A deal with the top mortgage servicers in the U.S. that includes writedowns could encourage homeowners who are current on their loans to stop making payments, Olens, a Republican, said today in a telephone interview.

“You’re declaring in advance who the winners and losers are,” Olens said. “I’m a little concerned that this process disengages the normal market forces.”

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GA Attorney General Olens Is Taking Foreclosure Fraud Bill By The Horns

GA Attorney General Olens Is Taking Foreclosure Fraud Bill By The Horns


Georgia’s newly elected Attorney General Sam Olens is clearly not part of any 50 state settlement. According to AJC, on Tuesday House Bill 237 is moving closer to passing.

This bill if passed, will criminalize falsifying foreclosure documents, not simply errors or typos. The bill would go into effect on July 1, and will give both the attorney general and district attorneys the power to subpoena. Florida you listening?

Georgians make sure this goes smoothly and do all you can.

Perhaps Mr. Olens should take over Mr. Millers position of leading the pack?

[image: Doug Thompson]

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GA Foreclosure Fraud Bill Passes Out of House Committee

GA Foreclosure Fraud Bill Passes Out of House Committee


HB 237, introduced by Representative Rich Golick, would prohibit misstatements with the intent to defraud during the foreclosure process. The bill would also give law enforcement, including the Attorney General, sufficient authority to investigate and prosecute violations.

Georgia Seal

PRESS ADVISORY

Monday, February 28, 2011

Foreclosure Fraud Bill Passes Out of House Committee; Attorney General Unveils Mortgage and Foreclosure Webpage

Attorney General Sam Olens applauded today’s action by the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee to recommend “Do Pass” on HB 237. HB 237, introduced by Representative Rich Golick, would prohibit misstatements with the intent to defraud during the foreclosure process. The bill would also give law enforcement, including the Attorney General, sufficient authority to investigate and prosecute violations. Attorney General Olens, who testified before the Committee last Friday in support of the bill, is dedicated to protecting consumers from fraud during the foreclosure process and is asking the General Assembly to expand the State of Georgia’s current mortgage fraud law to cover fraud during the entire lending process, including foreclosures.

“Georgia’s real estate market has been hit hard during the financial crisis due in part to unscrupulous individuals involved in the process,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “As the state’s attorney, it is appropriate that my office investigate foreclosure fraud and prosecute individuals who scam the system. I thank Representative Rich Golick and the other sponsors for their leadership on this important issue and encourage the General Assembly to protect Georgia citizens by expeditiously passing HB 237 into law.”

Attorney General Sam Olens also unveiled today the new “Mortgage and Foreclosure Information” page on the Department of Law’s website to assist consumers seeking information about the mortgage and foreclosure processes. The webpage includes frequently asked questions and provides links and contact information to other helpful resources.

“The Department of Law receives numerous calls each day from consumers inquiring about mortgages and foreclosures,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “We saw a need for an easily accessible consumer resource, and developed the webpage by researching the issues most commonly raised in citizen calls and letters. I remain committed to assisting consumers by making more information available on our website.”

The webpage can be found on the Department of Law website under “Key Issues” or by clicking here.

source: Georgia.gov

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“GEORGIA FORECLOSURE FRAUD” NEW AG OLENS WANTS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS!

“GEORGIA FORECLOSURE FRAUD” NEW AG OLENS WANTS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS!


Excerpts from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Newly elected state Attorney General Sam Olens said Wednesday he will push the General Assembly for the authority to launch criminal investigations of improper foreclosures.

[…]

The attorney general has the power to prosecute mortgage fraud, but apparently not foreclosure fraud. Olens said he wants to change that, and he also said he might ask the State Bar of Georgia, which licenses lawyers, to look into allegations of misconduct by real estate attorneys in the mortgage origination as well as foreclosure process.

“We’re still working on our legislative agenda now, and frankly, that’s part of it,” Olens said. A senior leader in the office’s criminal division asked Olens recently to press for jurisdiction to cover foreclosure fraud.

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