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Thursday, December 6, 2007

City of Aventura Mortgage Report

Today an article ran in the Miami Herald regarding mortgage fraud. It's vital that our readers know what's going on in the mortgage industry. The City of Aventura is a new town that has experienced recent growth. I'm confident that there are many Aventura residents exploring a first mortgage or refinancing in response to the city's development. This makes mortgage news highly relevant to Aventura real estate and the residents that are buying and selling condos in the area.

I hope you find this article as informative as I did. Enjoy.

Seven more arrested in mortgage fraud


Seven new suspects accused of mortgage fraud were rounded up by police, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez unveiled new legislation to increase criminal penalties for people convicted of real estate fraud.

The proposal would allow property appraisers to revalue assessments in neighborhoods plagued with fraud, where inflated values have driven up property taxes for nearby homeowners. It would also create a statewide mortgage fraud task force.

''A lot of people think . . . [mortgage fraud] is just a way of making money, that it's a business, it's an industry. But they are going to find out very differently, '' Alvarez said at a news conference. ``If you've done it, you might be in trouble.''

Launched in September, the Miami-Dade task force is a partnership of lawmakers, law enforcement and business leaders formed to devise ways to combat and prevent the widespread mortgage fraud that slammed South Florida during the real estate boom.

Subcommittees have been meeting over the last several months to craft reform measures, including educational outreach, an industry code of conduct and legislation. The task force recently released a standardized complaint form the public can use to report fraud. State Senators Gwen Margolis, D-Bay Harbor Islands, and Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, and state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, introduced the measures and said they will back them in Tallahassee next year.

Amid the real estate market slowdown and record foreclosures that have cast a spotlight on questionable loans, police said they had received more than 1,000 complaints of suspected mortgage fraud in Miami-Dade.

Included in the recent spate of arrest is Mariana Navarrete, 44, the registered owner of Confin Home Mortgage & Loan and United Consultants Group, who was arrested last month and accused of recruiting family members to steal the identity of an employee and using it to take out loans.


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