Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Georgia AG given authority by House committee to investigate foreclosures

Attorney General Sam Olens applauded today’s action by the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee to recommend “Do Pass” on HB 237. HB 237, introduced by Representative Rich Golick, would prohibit misstatements with the intent to defraud during the foreclosure process. The bill would also give law enforcement, including the Attorney General, sufficient authority to investigate and prosecute violations. Attorney General Olens, who testified before the Committee last Friday in support of the bill, is dedicated to protecting consumers from fraud during the foreclosure process and is asking the General Assembly to expand the State of Georgia’s current mortgage fraud law to cover fraud during the entire lending process, including foreclosures.

“Georgia’s real estate market has been hit hard during the financial crisis due in part to unscrupulous individuals involved in the process,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “As the state’s attorney, it is appropriate that my office investigate foreclosure fraud and prosecute individuals who scam the system. I thank Representative Rich Golick and the other sponsors for their leadership on this important issue and encourage the General Assembly to protect Georgia citizens by expeditiously passing HB 237 into law.”

Attorney General Sam Olens also unveiled today the new “Mortgage and Foreclosure Information” page on the Department of Law’s website to assist consumers seeking information about the mortgage and foreclosure processes. The webpage includes frequently asked questions and provides links and contact information to other helpful resources.

“The Department of Law receives numerous calls each day from consumers inquiring about mortgages and foreclosures,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “We saw a need for an easily accessible consumer resource, and developed the webpage by researching the issues most commonly raised in citizen calls and letters. I remain committed to assisting consumers by making more information available on our website.”

The webpage can be found on the Department of Law website under “Key Issues” or by clicking here.

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