Robosigning is Focus of New York Fraud Legislation
The New York State Assembly will soon considerrna bill that, if passed, would broaden the definition of mortgage foreclosurernfraud to include “robosigning” and enact tough new criminal penalties includingrnjail time for violators. The introductionrnof the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012 was announced today by New YorkrnAttorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.</p
The bill, sponsored by AssemblywomanrnHelene Weinstein of Brooklyn, makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an employee orrnagent of a residential mortgage business to “knowingly authorize, prepare,rnexecute or offer for filing false documents in a pending or prospectivernresidential foreclosure action.” A violation is punishable by up to a year inrnjail and a $1,000 fine.</p
The bill makes it a class E felony forrnthe same employees to engage in multiple acts of foreclosure fraudrn(robosigning) and for a “high managerial agent” of a residential mortgagernbusiness to “recklessly tolerate” such conduct on the part of any agent orrnemployee. Such a felony carries arnpenalty of up to four years in state prison. </p
“For many middle class New Yorkers,rntheir life savings is in their home. To take away people’s homes underrnfraudulent circumstances is a crime deserving of jail time,” Schneiderman said. “By treating foreclosure fraud as the seriousrncrime that it is, we can deter future abuse and spare untold numbers ofrnfamilies the trauma of wrongful foreclosure. This legislation will ensure thatrnemployees involved in these fraudulent and abusive practices, and their supervisorsrnwho allow the misconduct to continue, will be held accountable for theirrncrimes.”
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