Interesting Personal Debt News Links (March 25, 2009)

March 25, 2009

* Indictments unveiled in mortgage fraud sting

( Map , News ) – A lawyer, a tax-preparer and the owner of a mortgage brokerage are among more than a dozen people rounded up in what federal officials describe as a major crackdown on mortgage fraud in the Chicago area.

* Signs of Stress, Fraud on Roadside (Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal)

LAS VEGAS — Police detective Mark Menzie drove 55 miles into the desert Sunday to inspect the charred remains of a formerly silver Ford Expedition.

* Head of mortgage fraud scheme pleads guilty

( Map , News ) – Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Joy Jackson has pleaded guilty in a $35 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Washington area.

* Will: States can’t fight illegal immigration alone (Topeka Capital-Journal)

PHOENIX Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient, but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America’s safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation’s highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

* Mortgage fraud cases ‘straining’ FBI (Washington Times)

The number of FBI agents investigating mortgage fraud has more than doubled in the past two years, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday.

* Appraising the frustration (Akron Beacon Journal)

M ore than 1,100 Summit County property owners are appealing the reappraised values of their homes and businesses, the number expected to peak near 2,500 by the March 31 deadline to file objections. During the last major adjustment six year ago, the county’s Board of Revision handled 1,965 complaints, still the official record, although not, most likely, for long.

* Bad time to get sick; time to act (Recorder Publishing)

Some have lost their jobs, and nearly everyone has lost much of their savings. Even the value of our homes has been eroding.

* ‘Pay depression’ for workers as inflation hits zero (Harry Wallop, Telegraph)

The warning comes after official figures showed inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index hitting zero, the lowest rate since 1960.

* Area woman sentenced for mortgage fraud (Athens Daily Review)

CORSICANA A Henderson County woman was sentenced to 99 years in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme on Monday.

* Trial of former housing official gets underway (Winston-Salem Journal)

Ernie Pitt, the former chairman of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, is in federal court today, facing charges that he participated in a fraudulent land deal in 2003.

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