DENVER (AP) The Federal Housing Administration is cracking down on real estate sales and refinancing scams in an effort to stem the damage done by foreclosures that hit the housing market in recent years.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency says it’s also cracking down against other types of mortgage and foreclosure scams, including sales and loans made to people under age 30.
Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest private mortgage lender, says it will help consumers get their loans back.
Housing finance experts say the FTC has become more proactive in the last few years to crack down on the types of scams it sees on the rise.
Homes sold with a forged title are now considered fraudulent and must be repaired.
FHA is cracking the whip on mortgage lenders to ensure they follow the law.
And the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is expanding its enforcement of predatory lending rules and regulations, which it has long criticized.
“These are predatory loans and they’re being sold,” said John Stancil, a partner at Washington law firm Wiley Rein and an expert on mortgage lending.
“You need to take action.”
Fannie Mae says it has received more than 7,000 complaints since the beginning of the year from consumers who purchased loans with forged titles and other mislabeled documents, including forged titles that had never been issued by Fannie.
The agency has opened nearly a dozen investigations and is looking into additional claims.
The agency says it also has filed more than 1,000 civil cases in states and municipalities against companies that are selling bogus mortgage and mortgage refinancing loans.
Fitch Ratings, a ratings agency, says the number of fraudulent mortgage and refinance loans in the U.S. is at a record high.
It also said it’s launching a program to help homeowners refinance their loans at lower interest rates and offer them more protection against foreclosure.
Fears about mortgage lending are growing among borrowers and consumers alike, with banks saying they’re underperforming.
The number of people who are struggling with mortgages increased from 7 million in April to 11.2 million in September, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
The FHA says it plans to spend $2 billion in the next year to help address the foreclosure crisis.
The government agency has stepped up its efforts to crack DownOn Fraud and Fraudulent Mortgage Lending.
FHFA has been conducting workshops for mortgage servicers and lenders on the best practices for refinance, and has created a hotline for borrowers to file complaints about the mortgage brokers.
It has also created a website for consumers to report fraudulent mortgage loans.
Fannie said in a statement that it is committed to making sure that every homeowner has access to the best financial solutions available.
“We are taking additional steps to prevent fraudulent loans from posing a threat to homeowners,” the agency said.
“Our goal is to ensure that every borrower has the resources and resources necessary to succeed in a competitive market.
We will continue to work to improve consumer protection and will work with our lenders to identify and prosecute those who pose a risk to the stability of our financial markets.”