From 2000 to 2007, regulators allowed at least 10,529 people with criminal records to work in the mortgage profession. viaNo blog was never more aptly named than this...
• More than half the people who wrote mortgages in Florida during that period were not subject to any criminal background check. Despite repeated pleas from industry leaders to screen them, Florida regulators have refused.''I knew we had a problem. I had no idea how bad,'' U.S. Sen. Doofus Mel Martinez, Ripyouoffagain-Fla., said when told of The Miami Herald's findings.
• Confronted with a growing epidemic of mortgage fraud -- Florida now has the highest rate in the nation -- the number of license revocations declined over the last five years, leaving borrowers at the mercy of predatory brokers.
• During the peak of the housing boom, the Office of Financial Regulation ignored a state law enacted in 2006 that compelled it to perform nationwide criminal background checks on applicants. That failure allowed people convicted in other states -- and in federal court -- to peddle loans in Florida without any scrutiny.
• Regulators allowed at least 20 brokers to keep their licenses even after committing the one crime that seemed sure to get them banned from the industry: mortgage fraud.