Pennsylvania Strengthens Mortgage Fraud Laws

June 30, 2009

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell on Monday signed a pair of bills to combat mortgage fraud by strengthening communication between homeowners and their lenders and encouraging employees at mortgage companies to report illegal activity.

The first law, Senate Bill 170 (Sen. Mike Brubaker), will prohibit a mortgage broker or originator from being the sole recipient of communications from lenders. This will help ensure that consumers receive monthly statements and other notices intended for them by their lenders.

The second measure, House Bill 985 (Rep. David Kessler), will shield mortgage company employees who report illegal activity or take part in an investigation from retaliation through reduced salaries, termination or other actions taken by their employer.

"These bills will provide increased protection for Pennsylvania consumers shopping for a mortgage or refinancing their homes," Rendell said. "They represent a critical step forward in our strategy to combat mortgage lending fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania." "Securing a home mortgage is the largest, most significant financial responsibility most people will ever take on. With the enactment of these bills, we continue our efforts to help more Pennsylvanians secure their part of the American dream," he added. Both bills take effect in 60 days.