The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Maryland Attorney General announced yesterday that they have fined both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase for an illegal kickback scheme with a title company, Genuine Title who went out of business in April 2014.
One of the former Wells Fargo employees, Todd Cohen and his wife, Elaine Oliphant Cohen, had used Genuine Title to reward bank loan officers with cash, marketing materials, and consumer information in exchange for referrals. (more…)
The alliance between HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors and other mortgage market participants known as HOPE NOW, reported yesterday that an estimated 39,000 homeowners received loan modifications, and 28,000 foreclosure sales were recorded during the month of November. (more…)
The FBI reported last week that a former resident from Palm Beach County, Florida, Francisco Aletto Sr., was sentenced to two years in prison for his loan shark fraud. (more…)
The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced yesterday, that Brian W. Harrison, 55, a former vice president and loan officer at Farmers Bank and Trust in Great Bend, Oregon was charged with three counts of making false entries in bank records, 16 counts of falsifying loan and credit applications, two counts of embezzlement, and two counts of money laundering. (more…)
A California man who operated an alleged loan modification scam, was arrested on New Years day in Orange County for mortgage fraud.
Carlos Jose Centeno, of Yorba Linda, was taken into custody by law enforcement after an investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, and held on $390,000 bail, according to Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce. (more…)
There are currently 46 counties in the U.S. that had their maximum conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages increased for the year 2015. This list below, will help both loan officers and mortgage borrowers understand these new higher limits in order to properly qualify for a new home loan. (more…)
The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) recently sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asking them to enforce bank loan officers who originate residential mortgages to meet the basic testing and continuing education requirements as non-bank licensed loan originators. (more…)
(Source: Federal Reserve) – The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced the annual adjustment of the dollar amount used to determine whether a small loan is exempt from the special appraisal requirements that apply to higher-priced mortgage loans. (more…)
The FBI announced this past week, that a Ocean County, New Jersey loan officer was indicted for leading a massive mortgage fraud scheme that caused approximately $2 million in losses. (more…)
The FBI announced yesterday that a Billerica, Massachusetts woman was sentenced for wire fraud charges in connection with a bogus bank guaranty program.
Diane Glatfelter, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,575,000 in restitution. In September 2014, Glatfelter was found guilty following a five-day jury trial of four counts of wire fraud, according to the FBI press release. (more…)
Andrew Constantinou, a former loan officer at GMAC Mortgage and Countrywide Home Loans, was sentenced today to five years in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving more than 40 properties that caused $7 million in losses to lenders, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
The FBI said that Constantinou, 58, of Unionville, Connecticut, was originally convicted by jury of all counts on April 18, 2014. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud. (more…)
Another mortgage scammer bites the legal dust!
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced yesterday, that a loan modification business who falsely claimed they were affiliated with the US government entities such as the Making Homes Affordable assistance program and the FDIC, have been banned from the mortgage modification and loan businesses. (more…)
Ever since the mortgage crisis had started in 2007, there have been many white-collar crooks coming out of the criminal woodwork who opened up loan modification and foreclosure defense chop shops in order to scam struggling homeowners down on their luck. We have reported on many of these mortgage relief schemes for the last seven years being busted and shut down, but these fraudsters seem to be a dime a dozen. When one scam is busted by federal authorities, another 10 take their place.
For example, the FTC announced this past week that they obtained court orders against 22 defendants who operated fraudulent loan modification services to American homeowners that allegedly violate the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule, which bans mortgage rescue and mortgage modification services from collecting upfront fees until they receive a written loan modification offer from their mortgage servicer that the consumer deems acceptable. (more…)
The ringleader of a Florida based $7 million loan modification scam was sentenced yesterday to 11 years in prison, and was ordered to pay $5.9 million in restitution to victims for his mortgage crimes. The convicted criminal, Jason Vitulano, 39, of Boca Raton, pleaded guilty earlier this year to mail and wire fraud charges.
Vitulano had operated various sham mortgage modification companies from 2008-2009 such as FHA All Day.com Inc., Housing Assistance Law Center Inc., and Safety Financial Corp. It was from these companies, that Vitulano directed his criminal enterprise by leading a group of hired hitman telemarketers who targeted struggling homeowners across the country. (more…)
The FBI announced on Monday, that a former First Community Bank and Trust officer, and a former director in Will County, Illinois have pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in a scheme to hide losses from the bank’s loan portfolio in order to report it was in better shape than it actually was. The defendants conspired to conceal delinquent loan payments to the bank on behalf of two clients whose loans totaled, added up to approximately $2.8 million, and caused the bank to suffer more than $1.1 million in losses. (more…)