Pistole said the FBI is focusing its enforcement efforts on industry insiders who are part of organized rings engaged in mortgage "fraud for profit," as opposed to "fraud for housing" -- instances where individual borrowers make misrepresentations in order to acquire a house to live in.
"Industry insiders are of priority concern as they are, in many instances, the facilitators that permit the fraud to occur," Pistole said.
As foreclosures continue to rise, so have foreclosure rescue scams, Pistole said, and the FBI is out to "target, disrupt and dismantle" individuals and companies engaged in such fraud schemes.
The default servicing arena "appears to be the new frontier for fraud perpetrators," the Mortgage Bankers Association says in a brochure promoting its upcoming National Fraud Issues Conference in Las Vegas. The conference, which takes place March 16-18, will include a panel discussion of national fraud trends and problem areas with representatives of the FBI, U.S. Attorney, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of the Inspector General.