Reno and Sparks Nevada Takes Aim at Mortgage Fraud

The new Nevada Fight Fraud Task force is a new layer of protection that our state government is giving our distressed Reno real estate owners.  They are investigating all aspects of reported fraud and are working to shut these companies down.  In the story below they note the main culprit are companies targeting Reno homeowners for loan modifications.  So here is the skinny on these programs, in a loan modification all the lenders are currently willing to do is a reduction of interest and putting any late payments on the back of your principal giving you a clean slate.  Still no principal reductions .. period.  I know you all may have seen lawyers starting to advertise principal reductions for homeowners but in all my research I have still yet to find a single Nevada attorney willing to give me any proof of  a true principal reduction.  If you are interested in doing a loan modification I would highly suggest doing it yourself.  There is no magic wand that the loan modification companies have they just basically become your middle man between yourself and your lender.  You can get the exact same results in your loan modification from simply contacting your lender yourself.   Give your banks customer service a call tell them you want to do a loan modification and they will send you an application.  Fill out the application send it back and you are on your way.  The main thing to keep in mind is the squeaky wheel gets the grease, once you send in your application call at least once a week.  Remember to be nice to the people you talk to even if you can tell they have no personal interest in your situation.  These people are dealing with 1,000′s of loan modifications and the applicants that use the “you get more flys with honey the vinegar” angle have far more success.  Be persistent, take copious notes and you will be amazed how quickly you can get something done.  (4 months or less is great!!)  If you hit a brick wall you can always get great advice from the folk at HUD.  Visit the Housing Counseling page for Nevada to get contact information for free HUD approved counselors in our areas.  And of course you can always call me , Kyle Krch to bounce ideas off of. 

 

see the story below for the full story.

By: Carrie Bay

Mortgage and foreclosure scammers with their eyes set on Nevada – be wary.

The state may hold the title of ‘riskiest’ when it comes to housing-related fraud, but according to Elisabeth Daniels of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry and chairperson of the state’s Fight Fraud Taskforce, Nevada has embarked on an all-out, full-force attack to “turn that around.”

 “We’ve got a huge battle ahead of us, but we are very committed to it,” Daniels said in an interview granted to DS News.

In late 2007, the Nevada government launched its Fight Fraud Taskforce, of which Daniels is the chair. She explained that her group focuses on all types of consumer fraud – from predatory lending to “Cash for Clunkers” scams. But Daniels says lately, loan modification-related fraud has been the biggest issue in Nevada, and she says its prevalence has picked up considerably with the federal incentives promised by the administration under its mortgage relief programs.

The role of Daniels’ Fight Fraud Taskforce has become more central to the state’s war against mortgage cons since Nevada’s Consumer Affairs Division, which spearheaded investigations of fraud complaints, was dissolved in June after fiscal cutbacks.

“Our primary message,” Daniels said, “is that help is there after the fact, but we don’t want you to get there. Steps can be taken to prevent this from happening. Homeowners just have to do their own due diligence.”

Daniels takes her notion of “not becoming a victim” directly to the people, speaking at community outreach events and fraud awareness seminars across the state.

“When you get desperate, you’re looking for a savior and these scammers know that,” Daniels said.

Daniels says the system is already strained by the huge volume of people facing foreclosure. But even without that, she says, just the nature of the investigative process takes time.

In addition to its community education efforts, the taskforce makes ample resources available to victimized homeowners through its Fight Fraud Web site and has

instituted a mortgage fraud hotline. The state works directly with an FBI team dedicated exclusively to mortgage fraud to pursue any high-level complaints and investigations of a criminal nature, Daniels explained.

According to Daniels, one of the primary goals of her taskforce is to bring community organizations together in the fight against mortgage fraud scammers, including local law enforcement, government agencies, and the private sector.

The Nevada Fight Fraud Taskforce includes members from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, the I.R.S., the Department of Justice, the attorney general’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Better Business Bureau in Las Vegas and Reno, the Department of Business & Industry, the Division of Mortgage Lending, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Federal Trade Commission, U.S.P.S., and experts from the private sector among others. The group acts as a clearinghouse for fraud information and works to educate the public on how to avoid the latest scams.

With Nevada being one of the foreclosure hotspots of the country, government officials formed a statewide Foreclosure Taskforce a couple of years ago in response to the housing crisis, and Daniels explained that the focus of this group has evolved with the crisis. Initially the Foreclosure Taskforce concentrated on educating troubled homeowners, teaching them how to talk with their lenders and connecting them with foreclosure counselors.

As foreclosure numbers continued to rise and the headlines were grabbed by unsuspecting tenants who found themselves without a home after landlords had defaulted, the Foreclosure Taskforce stepped up assistance to renters. And now, with more and more homeowners seeking modifications and the rollout of federal stabilization programs taking center stage, foreclosure rescue and loan mod scams have become this group’s primary focus as well.

The Nevada government is attacking foreclosure-related mortgage fraud with all available weapons. During a summer legislative session, Nevada lawmakers passed a measure that went into effect July 1, mandating that all foreclosure and loan mod consultants, whether working with homeowners before or after notice of default, be licensed, registered, and bonded through the state’s Mortgage Lending Division.

Just last month, Gov. Jim Gibbons also announced plans to create a Nevada Crime Commission. The agency is tasked with exploring new ways to reduce crime in Nevada and finding “real solutions to ‘current day’ crime problems,” with mortgage fraud topping the list of areas to address.

“If crooks want to profit from fraud, I want them stopped and brought to swift justice,” Gov. Gibbons said in a statement to the press.

According to Daniels, Nevada is pulling out all the stops to do just that, and relinquish that label of being the highest-risk state for mortgage fraud.

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