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20090520

Mortgage Fraud Bill Signed

President Barack Obama signed a tough new law aimed at cracking down on mortgage fraud and predatory lending that helped trigger the current financial crisis. President Barack Obama said home owners facing foreclosure would have a second chance under a measure he signed into law. The bill had initially been stalled by a provision that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgages of troubled homeowners. The Senate stripped that language after the financial services industry complained it would raise costs and increase their losses. In a White House signing ceremony, Obama called the two bills another step "in the right direction" in curbing the economic crisis. The law expands the Justice Department's authority to investigate lenders not covered by current bank fraud statutes, firms that issued as many as half of the subprime mortgages four years ago.

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