A state lawmaker wants to increase criminal penalties for mortgage fraud.
State Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler, has introduced a bill to make committing home mortgage fraud a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison.
Home mortgage fraud and predatory lending has been a growing problem in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix area, which has seen strong population growth and a roller coaster real estate market in recent years.
Some nefarious lenders have used mortgage applications to commit identity theft. Others have targeted senior citizens, Hispanics and low-income families with hidden fees and charges.
The Arizona plan mirrors recently passed laws in Georgia and Colorado.