Senate passes Marleau bill that will help end mortgage fraud


LANSING–The state Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan, seven-bill package Tuesday that would give prosecutors the tools they need to help put a stop to mortgage fraud in Oakland County and throughout the state, said Sen. Jim Marleau, one of the bill sponsors.

“Mortgage fraud is a crime that can financially devastate its victims while costing Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars every year,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “What the Senate passed today puts teeth in our efforts to end one of the costliest and most troubling problems facing homeowners.”

The package creates a new crime of residential mortgage fraud and authorizes new sentencing guidelines and increased penalties for crimes such as forging deeds.

Marleau’s measure, Senate Bill 252, increases the maximum penalty for violating the notary public law to four years in prison. Under current law, the maximum penalty is one year.

“Notaries can play an important role in the mortgage fraud process. While most notaries act in good faith and compliance with the law, those who do not need to be punished to the fullest extent,” Marleau said.

SBs 43, 44, and 249 through 253 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.