Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) December 13, 2007
Once considered a tolerable pastime of industry insiders and a relatively few unscrupulous borrowers; Predatory Lending and Mortgage Fraud including Fraudulent Foreclosures have spun America's $3 trillion mortgage market into a national crisis.
Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement (CARCLE) and National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. (NJCDLP) are spearheading a public awareness campaign among other national initiatives to promote early detection, prevention, and prosecution as appropriate of predatory lending and mortgage fraud schemes as well as related misuses of federal funds. Their efforts will begin at the forefront of mortgage fraud in America which statistics suggest is Fulton County, Georgia.
CARCLE was founded more than a decade ago by the presently inactive Chief Deputy U. S. Marshal, international EEO, diversity, and human rights activist, Matthew F. Fogg. The nonprofit organization began as essentially a union of primarily African American, deputy U.S. Marshals contending with rampant inter-departmental racism. Today CARCLE is a national advocate, comprised of community organization and mobilization experts - combating injustice on both sides of law enforcement from the organization's east coast, mid-west, and southern offices.
NJCDLP is a nonprofit organization combating abuses of the American legal system that are facilitated by judicial misconduct. NJCDLP honors judicial independence while demanding appropriate accountability among judges. It is a leading grassroots, judicial reform advocate. Attorney Zena D. Crenshaw (C.A. 7) is Executive Director for NJCDLP and its sister organization CARCLE.
Left unchecked, predatory lending and mortgage fraud entail relatively minor business "indiscretions" that escalate, leading to organized crime and racketeering according to Marshal Fogg (INA) and Ms. Crenshaw. They note that "other serious offenses generally become involved such as conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and identity theft."
Fogg emphasizes the parallel specter of loan-sharking, extortion, bribery, and obstruction of justice. As examples of how blatant mortgage fraud schemes have become, Fogg references a Brooklyn, New York man arrested for trying to steal New York City's $76 million SoHo Grand Hotel by filing a fraudulent deed to transfer ownership of the establishment to himself, and allegations of fraud in Atlanta, Georgia regarding the Winecoff Hotel.
Attorneys for Atlanta Developer Courtney Dillard have reportedly written federal agencies requesting a full investigation into the possibly illegal acquisition with federal funding of the Historic Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
"If related allegations are true, the Dillard-Winecoff case is one of the worst examples of commercial mortgage fraud and public corruption I have seen," states Fogg as CARCLE's national president. 'This has been a case of unprecedented mortgage fraud and theft of property committed against Mr. Dillard, and its illegality and blatant nature is tantamount to the hijacking of an American dream' in the words of Dexter Wimbush, a former co-counsel for Dillard.
"Criminals are opportunists - if you've got a booming market, they're going to get away with more fraud," says William Matthews, co-author of a recent report on mortgage fraud by the Mortgage Research Institute. Presently mortgage fraud schemes involve trillions of taxpayer dollars through federally insured deposits, mortgage backed securities traded on the national securities markets, federally insured housing loans, FHA, VA, HUD Section 8 vouchers and HUD 108 Economic Development loans, Federal Tax Credit Finance, etc. attests Zena Crenshaw.
She recalls former Governor Roy Barns "recognizing that Georgia residents are plagued by organized schemes to defraud them through predatory lending and mortgage fraud." "The scams are tough to spot", says Crenshaw, "particularly in hot real estate markets such as California, Florida and Georgia because huge real estate price increases operate to hide illegal profits."
Both Crenshaw and Fogg agree that federal intervention is clearly warranted to protect the integrity of banking and mortgage transactions. Fogg adds that "budget constraints with attendant limits on manpower and investigative resources create barriers for the response of local law enforcement to mortgage fraud." Public corruption only compounds that problem. Crenshaw notes that "civil courts have seemed unable or unwilling to fairly address the crimes that in part fuel America's mortgage fraud epidemic".
CARCLE and NJCDLP will identify and count on a national basis the accessible "Borrower Victims" of predatory lending, mortgage fraud, and/or fraudulent foreclosures. Potential Referral Sources will be encouraged to print and distribute prescribed promotional material extending the option for likely Borrower Victims to describe their relevant difficulties to CARCLE/NJCDLP agents during a prescheduled phone interview, in writing, or by internet submission. The Potential Referral Sources will also be invited to co-sponsor, co-develop, and otherwise help implement some form of public awareness program on predatory lending and mortgage fraud for their constituents or in their service area with CARCLE and NJCDLP.
In addition to the network of Potential Referral Sources through which they access Borrower Victims, CARCLE and NJCDLP will recruit state and federal law enforcement agencies, banks, mortgage companies, real estate professionals, Fannie Mae, etc. to join the task force. It should collaborate to increase and enhance the most effective law enforcement strategies for combating predatory lending and mortgage fraud.
CARCLE (Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement) helps communities build, enhance, and repair relationships with local law enforcement, ultimately to prevent, control, and reduce crime while accomplishing compatible criminal justice system reforms. http://www.carcle.us
NJCDLP (National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.) helps regulate America's judiciary by duly increasing its exposure to professional discipline, civil damages awards, and/or criminal prosecution for the knowing participation of judges in abuse of the American legal system. http://www.njcdlp.org