Nevada, California attorney generals team up on mortgage misconduct | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Nevada, California attorney generals team up on mortgage misconduct

Tribune News Service

MINDEN, Nev. – The attorneys general of Nevada and California are teaming up in a joint investigation to aid homeowners who have been harmed by misconduct and fraud in the mortgage industry.

California and Nevada will combine investigative resources, including litigation strategies, information, and evidence gathered through their respective ongoing investigations, assisting each state as it pursues independent prosecutions.

Attorneys General Kamala D. Harris of California and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada announced the joint investigation today.

“The mortgage crisis is a disaster that has taken a heavy toll on the country, but it saved its worst for California and Nevada,” said Harris. “The mortgage crisis is a law enforcement matter, and we will prosecute to hold accountable those who are responsible and also protect the homeowners who are targeted for fraud. I am delighted that California and Nevada are entering into this alliance to leverage the best results for our investigations and look forward to forging similar collaboration with other states.”

By most objective measures, California and Nevada have been the states hardest hit by the nation’s foreclosure crisis. In October 2011, Nevada and California ranked first and second, respectively, for the percentage of their housing units that entered the foreclosure process, reflecting a parallel surge in foreclosures in the two states. One in every 180 Nevada properties entered the foreclosure process in October, and one in every 243 California homes received a filing that month. In 2010, California led the nation with a total of 546,669 foreclosure filings (4 percent of the state’s housing units), while Nevada led the nation with 9.4 percent of its homes receiving a foreclosure filing (totaling 106,160 units).

“I am pleased to join forces with General Harris to fight against fraudulent mortgage and foreclosure practices that continue to devastate lives, homes, and the economy in Nevada and California,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. “This strong partnership will allow our states to make an even more concerted effort to hold fraud perpetrators accountable and ensure law-abiding homeowners receive justice.”

The crisis is similar because both states share a foreclosure system in which a bank can foreclose on a borrower’s home without court oversight, also called “non-judicial foreclosure.” The collective result has created a rich opportunity for predators, leading both states to make mortgage-related law enforcement action a top priority.


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