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Georgia - Has Attorney General Olens Followed Through With His 12/1/2010 Statements Regarding Improper Foreclosures?

Georgia - Has Attorney General Olens Followed Through With His 12/1/2010 Statements Regarding Improper Foreclosures?

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Published by: ForeclosureGate.org Library on Mar 23, 2011
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03/23/2011

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ByJ. Scott Trubey The Atlanta Journal-Constitution6:07 p.m. Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Newly elected state Attorney General Sam Olens said Wednesday he will push the General Assembly forthe authority to launch criminal investigations of improper foreclosures.And an expert in property law predicts that Olens' proposal will be just one measure among severalrelated to tightening up the state's foreclosure laws.“There will be a great deal of legislative attention on mortgages and foreclosures in the upcomingsession,” said Frank Alexander, real estate law professor at Emory University. "The incoming attorneygeneral’s push certainly will add momentum to that legislative package."Alexander, a critic of Georgia’s so-called nonjudicial foreclosure system, has proposed fundamentalreforms of state laws, including requiring lenders to prove their case in court.The ramifications of foreclosure stretch far beyond financial damage to an evicted former homeowner.Home repossessions drive down property values, reduce the property tax base and in some areas haveresulted in neighborhoods riddled with vacancies and blight.The attorney general has the power to prosecute mortgage fraud, but apparently not foreclosure fraud.Olens said he wants to change that, and he also said he might ask the State Bar of Georgia, whichlicenses lawyers, to look into allegations of misconduct by real estate attorneys in the mortgageorigination as well as foreclosure process.“We’re still working on our legislative agenda now, and frankly, that’s part of it,” Olens said. A seniorleader in the office’s criminal division asked Olens recently to press for jurisdiction to cover foreclosurefraud.Georgia is in the Top 10 nationally in foreclosure filings, and lenders completed more than 13,000foreclosures in the first half of the year, a 29 percent jump from the same period in 2009. Bankers sayinvolving the courts in foreclosure cases is unnecessary and would slow the process.The nation’s mortgage companies and others that process foreclosures face growing scrutiny nationallyabout how they do business and whether their actions have run roughshod over borrowers.Federal bank regulators and all 50 states are part of an investigation into the practices of the nation's
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New AG Olens wants power to investigateforeclosures
Page 1 of 2New AG Olens wants power to investigate foreclosures | ajc.com3/23/2011http://www.ajc.com/business/new-ag-olens-wants-762571.html?printArticle=y

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