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Purpose

New York State Senate

Notice of Public Hearing
Oral Testimony by Invitation Only

Senate Standing Committee on Banks
Brian X. Foley, Chair
Hugh T. Farley, Ranking Minority Member

Senate Standing Committee on Codes
Eric T. Schneiderman, Chair
Dale M. Volker, Ranking Minority Member

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
10:00am – 3:00pm
250 Broadway, 19th Floor Hearing Room
New York, NY  10007

SUBJECT: Gathering information concerning the types of fraud practiced on mortgage borrowers and concerning the investigation and prosecution of residential mortgage fraud in the State of New York.  

PURPOSE:

In recent years, residents of the state of New York, especially the suburban areas surrounding New York City and Long Island, have experienced a significant increase of criminal activity with regards to residential mortgage fraud. 

Residential mortgage fraud occurs when any individual or entity intentionally provides prospective home buyers and those seeking to refinance their homes with false information in connection with obtaining a mortgage.  In a 2008 report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified New York as one of the “top 10 mortgage fraud states.”

New York citizens have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of sophisticated residential mortgage fraud scams targeted at prospective home buyers.

The Senate Standing Committees on Banks and Codes intend to undertake a thorough review of the problem of mortgage fraud in the State of New York and are seeking input from the public regarding the following:

    * How has the new Penal Law Article 187 regarding residential mortgage fraud, facilitated the prosecution of mortgage fraud?
    * What, if any, additional measures could be taken by law enforcement to combat the problem of residential mortgage fraud?
    * What, if any, additional laws should be enacted to prevent residential mortgage fraud?
    * What are common examples of mortgage fraud schemes that have been perpetrated in New York?
    * How many and what type of complaints have been brought to the attention of housing advocates in communities hardest hit by mortgage fraud?
    * What sort of cooperation currently exists between community housing advocates and law enforcement?
    * What systems do residential mortgage lenders have in place to deter fraud?
    * What criteria are used by law enforcement to determine which complaints are investigated?  What are the components of an investigation of a complaint concerning residential mortgage fraud?
    * How do law enforcement and residential mortgage lenders cooperate with these investigations and prosecutions? How could they work together more closely?

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only. Fifteen (15) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk.  The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.  In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees’ interest in receiving testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the New York State Insurance Department has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities.  Accommodations will be provided for individuals with disabilities, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate facilities and activities.