Mortgage Fraud Trend Down; Still $14 Billion in 2009 Losses

Dennis Norman

Missouri one of 32 States Identified as “Low” risk of mortgage fraud

According to the 2010 Mortgage Fraud Trends Report released by CoreLogic this week, fraud risk in the mortgage industry has declined by 25 percent since it peaked in the third quarter of 2007. Even though the trend is down it is still estimated that there were $14 billion in fraud losses experienced in 2009 alone.

CoreLogics’ fraud index can drill down to show states, cities and even streets that have the highest mortgage fraud risk. Highlights of the report:

  • Overall mortgage fraud risk has been steadily decreasing since 2006 and appears to have leveled off in 2009
  • Short sale volume from first quarter of 2008 through fourth quarter of 2009 increased by more than 300 percent
    • Nearly one in every 200 short sales were deemed “very suspicious” by lenders meaning the property was resold less than 60 days after the short sale and the sale price was more than 20 percent higher than the short sale price.
  • The most common type of mortgage fraud (31 percent) is related to the borrower’s income.
  • States with the highest mortgage fraud risk are Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, California and Georgia.
  • The highest risk zip codes are Jamaica, N.Y., Orlando, FL, Miami, FL, Atlanta, GA and Detroit, Mich.
  • The top scoring street for mortgage fraud is in Orlando. In fact, 5 of the top 10 ten streets with the highest risk of mortgage fraud in the report were in Orlando. Other cities with streets in the top 10 were Prior Lake, MN, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, Atlanta, GA and Urbana, IL.

How about that? They can even identify the “risky street”. In the case of the street in Orlando the report didn’t give a name but did say there were 28 loans on the street from 2007 to 2008, the same company was the seller in most cases and the properties are now selling for about 10 percent of what they originally “sold” for.

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