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Mortgage Originators Cause Concern

July 21st, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The state’s Chief Financial Officer is calling for the resignation of Florida’s top mortgage regulator. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the resignation is being sought after a report that as many as 10 thousand felons have been working in Florida’s mortgage industry.

Hear it Here: Mortgage Originators Cause Concern

The investigation found that one in every 12 loan originators or just over 10 thousand people had a criminal history. Despite their records, over 4 thousand passed criminal background checks giving them access to sensitive credit card and social security information.

Many work in fly-by-night offices. We opened the phone book and got a message saying the call could not be completed as dialed.

In many ways, it’s the fox guarding the hen house.

Florida’s Banking Industry says there may be a reason a bank turned you down and if someone else’s deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“A bank wants to put you in a home but it wants to put you in a home you can afford to keep,” Pam Ricco with the Florida Bankers Association said. “And it doesn’t help anybody if people have to be foreclosed on or if they lose their home. It doesn’t help anybody.”

The mortgage industry says it has worked for years to ban those with criminal records with no help from state lawmakers.

“Our association is definitely in favor of licensing all originators, whether they be mortgage brokers which of course are licensed already or unlicensed originators, and that includes all unlicensed originators,” Mortgage Broker’s Association President Elect Valerie Saunders said.

The fraud has cost millions of dollars, helping Florida achieve a dubious honor. It has the highest mortgage fraud rate in the country.

The state and national mortgage industry has been asking Florida lawmakers to license all lenders since 2002,but no action has been taken.

Posted in Business, Housing, State News | 2 Comments »

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