More States Need Stronger Laws Making Mortgage Fraud A Crime

Register now

APPLETON, Wis.-Were he in the state legislature or Congress, Glen Ogden, VP of mortgage lending for Community First CU, said he would hesitate "to write a bill that adds yet another layer to an already overburdened industry, but..."

That "but" is a reference to his pet issue that only a handful of states have laws that make mortgage fraud a crime.

Instead, Ogden noted, many states have to use the federal RICO statute to prosecute those who commit mortgage fraud, which requires a great deal of time and effort.

"Most attorneys general don't want to go through that unless it involves a big ring worth millions of dollars," he lamented. "They won't go after a small operation that forges documents over a few thousand dollars. We need a federal statute that defines and criminalizes mortgage fraud."

The brokers who made bad loans are out of business, "but the credit unions and banks that make good mortgages are being burdened with more and more laws, regulations and audits," Ogden added.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.