Mortgage fraud crackdown signed

LANSING –-Legislation to help stop mortgage fraud and punish offenders was signed into law by the governor on Thursday, said Sen. Darwin Booher, lead sponsor of the package.

“Owning a home is at the heart of the American dream,” said Booher, R-Evart. “During my four decades as a banker in the private sector, I helped many families achieve that dream. Today I am proud to see the governor sign bipartisan measures to help preserve it.”

Public Act 205 creates a crime for mortgage fraud and makes that crime a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“Each year, mortgage fraud victimizes many consumers and effects entire communities,” said Booher, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.  “These important new laws give law enforcement officials the tools necessary to combat mortgage fraud in Michigan and stop criminals from taking advantage of hardworking families for personal gain.”

Public Acts 201 and 202, sponsored by Booher, increase the penalties for forging real property deeds or obtaining real property by false pretenses and enact thresholds to punish offenders more severely based on the amount of money they obtained.

The entire package, Public Acts 201-208, also include increasing the statute of limitations for crimes involving real property transactions to 10 years; enacting new elements for counterfeiting or forging real estate deeds and related documents including a sentence of up to 14 years in prison; and quadrupling the penalty for violating the notary public law to four years in prison.

The legislation was supported by Attorney General Bill Schuette, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and industry groups, including the Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Booher at the governor’s bill signing is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

www.senate.michigan.gov/senators/photowire.asp?District=35

Mortgage fraud crackdown signed

LANSING –-Legislation to help stop mortgage fraud and punish offenders was signed into law by the governor on Thursday, said Sen. Darwin Booher, lead sponsor of the package.

“Owning a home is at the heart of the American dream,” said Booher, R-Evart. “During my four decades as a banker in the private sector, I helped many families achieve that dream. Today I am proud to see the governor sign bipartisan measures to help preserve it.”

Public Act 205 creates a crime for mortgage fraud and makes that crime a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“Each year, mortgage fraud victimizes many consumers and effects entire communities,” said Booher, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.  “These important new laws give law enforcement officials the tools necessary to combat mortgage fraud in Michigan and stop criminals from taking advantage of hardworking families for personal gain.”

Public Acts 201 and 202, sponsored by Booher, increase the penalties for forging real property deeds or obtaining real property by false pretenses and enact thresholds to punish offenders more severely based on the amount of money they obtained.

The entire package, Public Acts 201-208, also include increasing the statute of limitations for crimes involving real property transactions to 10 years; enacting new elements for counterfeiting or forging real estate deeds and related documents including a sentence of up to 14 years in prison; and quadrupling the penalty for violating the notary public law to four years in prison.

The legislation was supported by Attorney General Bill Schuette, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and industry groups, including the Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Booher at the governor’s bill signing is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

www.senate.michigan.gov/senators/photowire.asp?District=35

Booher welcomes Pastor Towersey to

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, welcomes Pastor Chuck Towersey (left) to the Michigan Senate. Towersey is the pastor at Fresh Wind Community Church in Beulah and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

The above photograph of Booher and Towersey is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=35.

Senate finalizes mortgage fraud crackdown

LANSING -Legislation to help stop mortgage fraud and punish offenders was sent to the governor Wednesday to be signed into law, said Sen. Darwin Booher, lead sponsor of the package.

“This is positive news for all Michigan homeowners, especially as our state continues to struggle in a tough economy,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Mortgage fraud victimizes many consumers each year, but its impact is felt by the entire community and all taxpayers. These bipartisan reforms specifically combat mortgage fraud in Michigan by giving law enforcement officials the tools necessary to crack down on these criminals.”

The bipartisan package would create a crime for mortgage fraud and make that crime a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American dream. During my 40 years as a banker in the private sector, I helped many families achieve that dream. Today we preserve it,” said Booher, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.  “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this important reform into law and put an end to individuals taking advantage of hardworking Michigan families for personal gain.”

Senate Bills 249 and 250, sponsored by Booher, would increase the penalties for forging real property deeds or obtaining real property by false pretenses.  This would also enact thresholds to punish offenders more severely based on the amount of money they obtained.

Other measures in the eight-bill package include reforms to:

  • Increase the statute of limitations for crimes involving real property transactions from 6 to 10 years;
  • Enact new elements for counterfeiting or forging real estate deeds and related documents including a sentence of up to 14 years in prison; and
  • Quadruple the penalty for violating the notary public law from one to four years in prison.

The reforms are supported by Attorney General Bill Schuette, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and industry groups, including the Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

Senate Bills 43 and 249-252 now head to the governor. House Bills 4462, 4478 and 4492 have been sent back to the House to be enrolled and sent to the governor.

Booher votes to end health care for retired lawmakers

LANSING –-Legislation to end lifetime health care benefits for state legislators and save taxpayers more than $5 million a year was approved on Wednesday by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. Darwin Booher, who voted to end the benefit.

“As Michigan families continue to struggle in a tough economy and the state facing annual budget deficits, ending this benefit is the fiscally responsible thing to do,” said Booher, R-Evart.  “These retiree benefits cost the state $5.3 million in 2010, and this would have only increased as more lawmakers retire and health care costs rise. I have voted before to end this benefit, and I am encouraged that with this Legislature and governor, it will finally become a reality.”

House Bill 4087 will end the practice that funded 90 percent of health care costs for retired lawmakers from age 55 to age 65, when they would be eligible for Medicare.

“Ending this unsustainable debt on future taxpayers also about fairness to Michigan residents who expect us to spend their hard-earned dollars wisely,” Booher said. “It builds on our previous reforms to reduce the cost of government, which include requiring all Legislators to pay 20 percent of our health care premiums and cutting our pay by 10 percent.”

The bill returns to the House for concurrence, after which it is expected to go to the governor to be signed into law.