A group that is fighting the country’s foreclosure crisis is giving Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff an “A” for his efforts to help homeowners. The new report by the ACORN Financial Justice Center included a survey and scorecard for all 51 attorneys general. The grades were based on answers to nine questions concerning actions and knowledge about widespread foreclosures.
“I am honored to be one of the few attorneys general to receive an A from ACORN for my office’s efforts to protect the citizens of Utah from mortgage fraudsters, unscrupulous brokers and predatory lenders,” says Mark Shurtleff. “We will continue to investigate, prosecute and sue anyone who tries to harm Utah homeowners.”
In 2004, the Utah Attorney General’s Office launched a massive investigation into criminals using stolen social security numbers to commit mortgage fraud. Shurtleff is also on the State Attorney General Foreclosure Prevention Working Group. The group is seeking:
- Transparency and disclosures from mortgage loan services
- A ban on foreclosure filings from lenders who have been found by a court to have a pattern and practice of ‘presumptively unfair’ predatory lending
- Voluntary assistance from lending services to stay foreclosures against borrowers who are seeking assistance
- An agreement with lenders and services on “best practices” that can move struggling families away from foreclosure and into affordable monthly payments
ACORN Financial Justice Center recently opened an office in Utah. ACORN is the nation’s largest community organization of low and moderate-income individuals. The organization recently received a $7.8 million grant to help homeowners find solutions to avoid foreclosure.
“I will continue to work with ACORN to educate the public about the risks of mortgage fraud and foreclosure rescue scams,” pledges Shurtleff.
ACORN’s foreclosure-prevention hotline is 866-67-ACORN. The Utah ACORN office can be reached at 801-532-2225.