California Has Plenty Of Suspicious Mortgage Activity
Monday, March 12, 2012
Aired 3/12/12 on KPBS News.
California leads the nation when it comes to suspicious mortgage activity and San Diego is number 12 on the top 20 list.
SAN DIEGO The Treasury Department says suspicious loan activity rose 20 percent in the third quarter of last year. Banks are required to report activity like questionable loan work-arounds, loan modifications for distressed homeowners, or unusual refinancing attempts.
"In California, we're aware. We're very aware that the pain felt by homeowners is deeper than in any other state," said Shum Preston, spokesman for the Attorney General. "And that creates an opportunity for predators to come in and try to take advantage of those homeowners."
Federal officials say the reports of suspicious activity help them locate and root out fraud. The California Attorney General's office said it is no surprise that there's a lot of mortgage fraud activity in California.
"The housing and mortgage downfall have hurt our housing economy more than in any other state," Preston said. "So it's not surprising at all, it's what I would expect, and it's why California has put together a dedicated mortgage fraud strike force."
That state task force finds and prosecutes people involved in mortgage fraud schemes.