To protect consumers who seek federal help to stay in their homes, the Obama administration will pursue a crackdown on scams that target cash-strapped homeowners facing foreclosure, McClatchy Newspapers report. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will advise financial institutions how to spot and report questionable loan-modification schemes. The effort will enhance coordination and information-sharing among state and federal regulators and will better educate consumers on how to avoid being duped.
Mortgage fraud cases have increased more than 400 percent since 2004, and the FBI is investigating more than 2,100, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The bureau has more than doubled the number of agents that pursue such cases through its National Mortgage Fraud Team after nearly 180,000 reports of possible mortgage-fraud activity were made from 2002 through 2008. Some 7 million to 9 million families will be able to restructure or refinance their mortgages through the Obama administration’s “Making Home Affordable” program.