State senators host June 3 public forum on mortgage crisis

Arizona State Senate Democrats will host a public informational forum addressing the mortgage crisis in Arizona on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 from 4-6 p.m. at the State Capitol Executive Tower 2nd Floor Conference Room.  “While the legislature is waiting for a budget, the Democrats feel that we could make use of the time to address vital issues that impact Arizonans.  The mortgage crisis impacts all of Arizona’s families, neighborhoods, and communities, but the perception is that it only involves the immediate family.  In actuality, the impact on the entire community is quite substantial,” said Sen. Marsha Arzberger (D-Willcox), Senate Minority Leader.

One major innovation in mortgage fraud schemes includes home equity theft, which was labeled the “Latest Scam on the Block” by the FBI this March.  In some cases, the unscrupulous entity will locate homes going into foreclosure and make promises to the current owner that if the owner refinances the home that they will be able to keep their home.  Instead, the mortgage rescue company purchases the home with a stolen identity or “straw buyer,” keeps the money from the loan, never makes payments on it, and then takes over what was once your home.  “Numerous Arizonans call or come by on a daily basis telling their stories and asking for help to combat the mortgage crisis.  Now, when Arizona ranks third highest in the nation in foreclosures, we should be building bridges for people to get the help they need while establishing clear consequences for fraudulent practices aimed at vulnerable individuals and take steps to help prevent this in the future,” said Sen. Debbie McCune Davis (D-Phoenix), Ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Financial Institutions, Insurance, and Retirement Committee.

Representatives from the Department of Financial Institutions, Arizona Department of Housing, Arizona Bankers Association, Arizona Appraiser’s Association, and Arizona Realtors Association have been invited to report on what types of activity are being witnessed in the marketplace during the first part of the informational forum.  The second part will be open for members of the public to share their stories about their experiences.  The Executive Tower is located at 1700 W. Washington accessible through 19th Avenue. There is public parking immediately to the west of the Tower.  For security purposes, attendees would need to be in the doors by 5 p.m.

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