Rep Ryu represents the 32nd Legislative District and was elected last November to her first term. Shehad served as Mayor of Shoreline and also President of the Shoreline Chamber. She lives in Shoreline.
|Rep Cindy Ryu (32nd LD)|
OLYMPIA—State Rep. Cindy Ryu’s effort to preserve a key component of state and local efforts to combat mortgage fraud has cleared the final legislative hurdle and now only needs the signature of Gov. Chris Gregoire to become law.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 47-1 for Ryu’s proposal to cancel the scheduled July termination of Washington’s mortgage fraud prosecution account and extend its life to the end of June, 2016.
The House voted 97-0 for the measure earlier in the legislative session.
“I’m relieved that the Legislature agreed that we must continue to protect homeowners against a kind of fraud that can wipe out a family’s life savings overnight,” said Ryu (D-Shoreline).
The Legislature created the Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account in 2003 to help pay for prosecutions of mortgage fraud, which often involve complex and costly cases that most counties cannot afford to pursue without help. Funds for the account are generated by a $1 surcharge on county recording fees for deeds of trust.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg underscored the importance of saving the fraud-fighting account in a letter to the state Department of Financial Institutions last summer.
“The prosecution of these crimes is extremely important due to their impact on the local economy and the well-being of our communities,” Satterberg said. “It is extraordinarily important that we continue to pursue this class of offenders, which we will be able to do following renewal of the relevant statutes by the state legislature.”
The modest $1 surcharge that supports mortgage prosecutions is unusual in that it was originally suggested and continues to be strongly supported by the mortgage lending industry. A spokesperson for the industry told lawmakers at a January public hearing that passing Ryu’s bill was critical to the ongoing battle against mortgage fraud.
“We wholeheartedly support it,” said Steve Buckner on behalf of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals. “We do not want the bad actors in the industry. We want them out.”
Ryu, a Democrat, said she is grateful that legislators of both parties lined up to support her bill.
“Even before I became a representative, I knew the process works best when Democrats and Republicans listen to one another and work with one another for common goals.” said Ryu, who is serving her first term in the Legislature. “Criminals don’t care about the politics of their victims, so we should always try to put politics aside when we consider the best ways to protect families and prosecute the criminals who prey on them.”
For more information:
State Rep. Cindy Ryu: (360) 786-7880