Attorney General Eric Holder joined a multi-agency news conference today vowing to crack down on mortgage loan modification scams. Treasury Secretary Tim Geither, Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Liebowitz, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan also lent star power to the event. The Obama administration’s financial rescue package includes assistance to homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages on more affordable terms.
Only homeowners whose mortgages are guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible. But that’s more than four million homeowners - a fat target for fraud, the administration says.
Geithner said Monday that Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will devote more resources to identifying fraud suspects. Holder noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has more than 2,100 mortgage fraud cases open and has created a National Mortgage Fraud Team, based in Washington.
Holder also said:
We are working with the FTC to reinvigorate the Executive Working Group, which brings together DOJ, the FTC, and state attorneys general to coordinate and exchange intelligence on competition and consumer fraud issues, such as the rescue scams we are addressing today
You can read Holder’s prepared remarks here.