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Broker Registry To Track Fraud

As part of a press conference at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers Annual Convention here, the co-founder of the Coalition Against Broker Fraud, Mitch Freifeld, came clean about his criminal past and acknowledged that starting a broker registry is his way of making up for the mistakes he made, supporting the industry and stopping fraudsters.

Freifeld has two charges for passing bad checks, one that is felony level, and a charge for credit card fraud in which he spent three years on probation, he acknowledges and Pinellas County sources confirm. He attributes this behavior to a drug problem resulting from the death of his mother and an addiction to various prescription medicines.

His crimes generally were committed in the early to mid '90s and since that point he has undergone rehab treatment and turned the corner, he says, when he met his current wife and started Global Net Branch Solutions.

"There are a lot of things that I did in my past that I'm not proud of," pointed out Freifeld. "I hurt a lot of people. I did things that I don't even remember doing.

"But, I've turned it around," he continued. "I found a very supportive wife who has stood beside me through it all. I also have a very supportive family and a renewed sense of religion that has contributed to my turnaround."

Now Global and other net branch operations have combined to form a broker registry dedicated to weeding out bad brokers that jump around committing fraud. Freifeld is the co-founder of the group and feels very strongly about the initiative of catching fraudsters and getting them out of the business.

But given his criminal record, the question remains: How can someone with criminal records and a prior drug addiction be taken seriously as an evangelizer against fraud given his history?

"Starting this coalition is my way to give back to my community to make the industry better, in part because of my past and in part because these fraudsters are costing innocent, hard-working people their jobs," he answered. "If a branch operation goes out business because of one fraudster, hundreds of good people, who are dedicated to doing a standup job, become unemployed. It's a problem that I feel obligated to address, especially given my own history. I'm a changed person looking to make a difference." (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com