Missouri lawmakers pass bill adding penalties for mortgage fraud

Thursday, May 1, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri lawmakers have approved the creation of a specific crime of mortgage fraud.

The bill cleared the House on Thursday and now goes to the governor. It creates fines and allows for the licenses of real estate brokers, agents and appraisers to be revoked.

Mortgage fraud would include making false statements or failing to inform borrowers of material facts. Attempts to influence real estate appraisals through extortion or bribery would also be barred.

State appraisers and real estate commissions and the state finance division would get more power to investigate allegations of mortgage fraud.

But Democrats argue the bill doesn't go far enough. They wanted new regulations over the subprime mortgage industry.

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