The Missouri Senate wants the state to muscle up against mortgage fraud.
The Senate has accepted a proposal to give state agencies more power to investigate and police the mortgage industry and to fine shady operators.
Sponsor Kevin Engler of Farmington cites FBI reports showing mortgage fraud is up 400 percent in the last twelve years and there were more than 12-hundred cases nationally last year–some of which made headlines in Missouri. But he says state agencies lack authority to attack the problem.
Opposition comes from Lee’s Summit Senator Matt Bartle who maintains local prosecutors could use a general fraud law on the problem, but won’t. He maintains passage of a new law won’t solve anything.
But Engler says it will, because law enforcement does not enter the picture until after the fraud has been done. He wants the state to be able to catch the fraud while it’s happening.
Engler says mortgage bankers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, regular and independent bankers, as well as the state divisions of insurance and finance all agree there is a problem. He says his bill is a solution they’ve all agreed to.