Financial Crime: Foreclosure Rescue Schemes Have Become More Complex, and Efforts to Combat Them Continue

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Foreclosure rescue schemes remain at historically high levels and have become more complex. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network--an online database of consumer complaints received by FTC, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations--showed that complaints about these schemes rose from around 9,000 in 2009 to more than 18,000 each year in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In addition, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network reported steady increases over the same period in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR)--reports filed by financial institutions about suspected violations ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 29, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Foreclosure rescue schemes remain at historically high levels and have become more complex. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network--an online database of consumer complaints received by FTC, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations--showed that complaints about these schemes rose from around 9,000 in 2009 to more than 18,000 each year in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In addition, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network reported steady increases over the same period in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR)--reports filed by financial institutions about suspected violations of financial laws and regulations--related to these schemes. Agency officials and representatives of nonprofits told GAO that the schemes had become increasingly complex, creating challenges for law enforcement. For example, schemes involving attorneys--which tend to involve greater losses--had become more common in recent years following a regulation that bans upfront fees, but provides an exception for attorneys. These schemes present unique challenges because attorneys typically collect fees upfront and enforcement officials have difficulty trying to determine whether attorneys are providing legitimate services. Furthermore, officials and representatives of nonprofits also noted that some populations, including minorities and the elderly, continued to be targeted."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 29, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Financial Crime: Foreclosure Rescue Schemes Have Become More Complex, and Efforts to Combat Them Continue, report, October 29, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc303192/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.