U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek introduces mortgage legislation to help homeownersMortgagePress.comKendrick B. Meek, Nationwide Mortgage Fraud Task Force Act of 2009, Department of Justice
Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL) has introduced the Nationwide
Mortgage Fraud Task Force Act of 2009 which will establish a
Nationwide Mortgage Fraud Task Force in the Department of
During the last Congress, Rep. Meek introduced legislation to
help resolve the mortgage fraud epidemic. The House passed the
legislation on Sept. 22, 2008 by a vote of 350 to 23, but the bill
was blocked by Republicans in the U.S. Senate.
Mortgage fraud is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes
in the United States. According to FBI statistics, the number of
suspicious activity reports from financial institutions more than
tripled from 17,127 in 2004 to 62,494 as of September 2008. The FBI
reports that the dollar amount of mortgage fraud is well into the
In 2006, 2007, and again in 2008, Florida ranked first in the
United States for mortgage loans that contained alleged fraud
against the lenders, according to the Mortgage Asset Research
Institute. Miami-Dade ranked fourth in mortgage fraud in the U.S.
behind New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
"Foreclosures in Florida have gone from a problem to an
epidemic," said Congressman Kendrick Meek. "Evidence points that
there is a direct correlation between foreclosures and mortgage
fraud, either in a fraud for profit or fraud for property scheme.
This legislation works to put those who perpetrate these crimes
exactly where they should be--behind bars."
From 2006 to 2007, there was a 168 percent increase in Florida
in the number of real estate foreclosures. In 2008, the trend
continued upward and Florida ranked second in the United States in
foreclosure filings. In response, Miami-Dade County created a
Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Over 100 arrests have been made of
individuals causing over $40 million in mortgage fraud.
Rep. Meek's legislation will create a Nationwide Mortgage Fraud
Task Force to provide a nationwide response to end this disturbing
trend in mortgage fraud offenses. The bill will provide a tool to
prevent the victimization of individuals and businesses through
effective education, legislation, regulation, law enforcement, and
The Attorney General shall provide the Task Force with the
appropriate staff and appoint one staff member to serve as
Executive Director of the Task Force. The Task Force shall
establish and oversee branches in each of the ten states determined
by the Attorney General to have the highest concentration of
mortgage fraud. The Task Force's functions shall include organizing
initiatives to investigate mortgage fraud, including initiatives to
enforce state mortgage fraud laws, and provide related training to
Federal, State, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial
For more information, visit kendrickmeek.house.gov.