November 2, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Legislation providing tougher penalties to those who knowingly engage in mortgage fraud has been passed through the legislature and recently signed into law by Governor Snyder. These new Public Acts seek to address the increased amounts of mortgage fraud in Michigan.
Senate Bills 249-252, now Public Acts 201 thru 204, make mortgage fraud a specific felony by setting fines and jail time depending on the value of the subject property. The new laws also revise the sentencing guidelines to provide for new penalties, along with the inclusion of notaries who knowingly partake in mortgage fraud schemes.
In addition to cracking down on mortgage fraud, these new laws protect the legitimate mortgage loan industry, and help prevent innocent homeowners from losing their homes. Fighting mortgage fraud benefits others as well, including those who live in neighborhoods containing abandoned homes, and local units of government that rely on property tax revenue. The new laws give prosecutors the tools they need to fight mortgage fraud, and would help ensure that the punishment fits the crime. The MAR applauds the legislature for establishing tougher penalties on a prevalent problem in the housing industry.
Source: Michigan Association of REALTORS