LOS ANGELES (AP) –– A new task force will investigate mortgage fraud in the wake of practices that crushed California’s housing industry and led to a wave of foreclosures, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

Harris was scheduled Monday to announce creation of the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, a team of 17 lawyers and eight state Department of Justice special agents that will investigate unscrupulous lending.

“If the evidence leads us there, no case will be too big or too small to pursue,” Harris told the Los Angeles Times. “There remain millions of people affected by the mortgage crisis.”

The attorney general said the team will investigate everything from phony marketing to loan modification scams and wholesale corporate fraud.

The 2008 financial crisis was triggered by defaults on poor-quality loans that Wall Street financial institutions sold as bundled securities and promoted as safe investments.

Harris said her office plans to prosecute some cases involving sales of such securities to the state or its pension funds if the situations involved false claims.

The wave of foreclosures cost California homeowners up to $640 billion in equity, Harris said.

The task force is distinct from an ongoing investigation into foreclosure practices by the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers. The attorneys general of all 50 states are involved in that probe.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. Roy Larry says:

    Congraulaitons to our Attorney General. It is about time that the consumers will get there day in court. Kamala go get all those rich boys on Wall Street, they believe they are immune.

  2. Mark says:

    “A team of 17 lawyers”. Kinda says it all.

  3. Ray says:

    As if we haven’t got enough waste in the State here is another LIBERAL DEMOCRAT wasting taxpayers money on something that is not there.

    1. Ray "the vanilla gorilla" Schwartz says:

      Something that is not there?

      Like your equity?

  4. Amar Singh says:

    Hope the investigation team do the job expected, find the culprits and punish then and NOT be another burden to the tax payers.

  5. Robbyn says:

    There is so much mortgage fraud, Ray. You might want to check and see if your mortgage is listed as a MERS mortgage and then see if you can find a clear title for your home. My guess is you won’t be able to. Deutsche Bank and Mortgage IT created a system to defraud not only homeowners, but the Feds as well.

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