Savannah Mortgage Fraud Symposium

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

HUD Assistant Secretary Brian D. Montgomery keynotes
Savannah Mortgage Fraud Symposium on June 22, 2006

"Stop Mortgage Fraud: A Call to Action - Spot it - Stop it!"

[Photo 1: Brian Montgomery]
Brian Montgomery: FHA Commissioner

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery gave the keynote address at a HUD Mortgage Fraud Symposium in Savannah, Georgia, which was held on June 22, 2006. The symposium, sponsored by HUD, aimed to increase consumer awareness of all types of fraud within the single housing industry. This symposium was the first of it's kind held by the Department.

"I firmly believe that one of the best ways to prevent fraud is to have educated consumers," said Commissioner Montgomery. "That's why we at FHA are remarketing our products so that consumers may protect themselves and their family from fraud."

[Photo 2: Brenda Mull, Debra Robinson, Brian Montgomery, Charles Gardner, Genny Kelly, Connie Perteet, Alvera Crittendon, Kevin Shearer and Verlon Shannon]
Brenda Mull, Deputy Director, Atlanta Multifamily HUB
Debra Robinson, Director, Processing & Underwriting Division, Atlanta HOC
Brian Montgomery, FHA Commissioner
Charles Gardner, Director Atlanta HOC
Genny Kelly, Single Family Housing Specialist, Atlanta HOC
Connie Perteet, Housing Program Specialist, Housing Support Division, Atlanta HOC
Alvera Crittendon, Housing Program Officer, Atlanta HOC
Kevin Shearer, Branch Chief, Quality Assurance Division, Atlanta HOC
Verlon Shannon, Director, Quality Assurance Division, Atlanta HOC

Recently published and broadcasted news reports have highlighted many cases of mortgage fraud. Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina are among the top five states in the country where mortgage fraud is most prevalent.

As one of the fastest growing crimes in America, mortgage fraud has been the source of higher borrowing costs and inflated property tax. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports the number of pending cases has nearly doubled over the past three years. Last year's losses from federally regulated banks topped $1 billion.

Since 2000, HUD's housing counseling funding has more than doubled to $45 million, including $2.7 million allocated specifically to mortgage fraud education.

Housing counseling agencies assist prospective homebuyers in making informed decisions and help unwary borrowers avoid inflated appraisals, unreasonably high interest rates, unaffordable repayment terms, which can result in the loss of equity, increased debt, default and even foreclosure. HUD has published a consumer brochure Don't Be a Victim of Loan Fraud and is conducting a national advertising campaign to steer consumers toward safe mortgage choices.

[Photo 3: Bob Young and Brian Montgomery]
Bob Young, HUD Atlanta Regional Director and Brian Montgomery, FHA Commissioner

Partners of the Symposium included: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight(OFHEO), Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Florida Office of Financial Regulation, North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, Capstone Institute Foundation, National Association of Professional Mortgage Women, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Opteum Mortgage, Pine State Mortgage, Georgia Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia, Popular Mortgage Corporation, and Putnam Mortgage and Finance, LLC.

[Photo 4: Doris Needham, Brian Montgomery and Genny Kelly]
Doris Needham, Special Assistant to Regional Director, Atlanta Regional Office
Brian Montgomery, FHA Commissioner
Genny Kelly, Single Family Housing Specialist, Atlanta HOC

Over 550 registrants participated at the meeting. Over 30 media hits were made about this conference, with extensive coverage by the Savannah media during the day of the event.

One of many interviews and media coverage received was: Regional Director Bob Young was interviewed by Jim Wooten from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) for an article titled Mortgage fraud: Where's honesty gone? RD Young tells the AJC, "These crimes take the collusion of several parties to pull off. That's why when you see cases of mortgage fraud, you'll usually find some combination of real estate brokers/agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers and attorneys involved." Read the full article (

Content Archived: September 09, 2009