Reports of suspected mortgage fraud declined 25% in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to an analysis of data released Tuesday from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the Treasury Department.
The number of reports dropped from 92,561 in 2011 to 69,277, the data revealed.
The past three years’ suspected mortgage fraud suspicious activity reports (SARs) have accounted for approximately 46% of the past decade’s mortgage fraud SARs, when counted by the date FinCEN received them.
However, suspicious activity is usually reported years after loans are originated after origination documents are reviewed following a loan default, repurchase demand, or other factors. Because of the trailing trend, many mortgage fraud SARs are filed much later than when the suspicious activity actually occurred, the bureau notes.
In 2012, 57% of SARs FinCEN received reported mortgage loan fraud activities that began more than five years before the SAR was filed.
Regardless of when they were filed, the bulk of FinCEN’s mortgage loan fraud SARs refer to suspicious activity filers believe began in calendar years 2006 and 2007.
Written by Alyssa Gerace