Mortgage Fraud Index Falls to 5-Year Low

Mortgage fraud activity reached its lowest level in nearly five years, according to data collected by Mortgage Daily and FraudBlogger.com.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, fraud activity reported 105 cases totaling $1.25 billion, a significant drop from the 141 cases and $1.7 billion reported for the prior quarter. 

Mortgage fraud also reported a decline on a year-over-year basis, as activity reached 171 cases totaling $1.75 billion during the fourth quarter of 2011. 

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Despite the index reading of 758—the lowest since first quarter 2008, according to The Mortgage Fraud Index—the declines in fraudulent activity appear to have only been temporary. 

“Preliminary data indicates that mortgage fraud case activity during the first quarter of this year was up around 25 percent from the fourth quarter,” said Mortgage Daily founder Sam Garcia. 

Based on the dollar amount of loans involved, Florida—which was not ranked among the five worst during the third quarter of 2012—was the highest ranked state for mortgage fraud. 

California tied Florida for the highest state index, though California’s index fell from the third quarter, when the state held down the top spot. 

Texas, New York and Arizona were also among the top-5 states with with mortgage fraud in terms of dollar amount.

Written by Jason Oliva