5:26 am February 28, 2011, by Henry Unger
An effort to protect Georgia homeowners from foreclosure fraud is expected to advance Monday in the state House of Representatives, AJC reporter April Hunt writes.
House Bill 237, which is expected to move out of committee, is a key part of the legislative agenda of new Attorney General Sam Olens, Hunt reports. It calls for criminalizing falsifying documents and gives Olens and district attorneys more power to investigate claims of fraud.
“There is an unacceptable level of inappropriate conduct that has hurt confidence of homeowners across the state and the country,” Olens explained to committee members during a hearing, Hunt writes.
The problem is that foreclosure guidelines and what constituted fraud was not addressed in the state’s 1995 mortgage fraud law, Hunt reports.
That oversight has left Olens powerless to demand records and investigate when residents call with complaints, Hunt writes. The main issue appears to be some lenders backdating and otherwise falsifying documents in the long chains of transfers, which makes the process go faster.
The new proposal criminalizes that work as forgery, Hunt reports.
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- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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