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Since the subprime mortgage crisis eroded to the worst housing depreciation since the Great Depression, finance analysts and Wall Street executives are taking mortgage fraud a lot more seriously. Activity climbed on mortgage fraud cases being prosecuted in California, leaving the state with more fraud than any other. California lenders extended the lowest rates ever recorded, but the percentage of homeowners with underwater mortgages has still grown dramtically. New York lenders also reported an increase in mortgage fraud. While Florida lenders topped the mortgage fraud index list. But as a whole, the nation’s case activity of mortgage fraud incidents was actually decreasing. Many of the politicians have pointed towards the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that was passed in 2009, but most of the policies of this bill have not been implemented because of the difficulty of its framework. Still MLV reported a sharp spike in California mortgage leads last quarter.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the 3rd Quarter 2011 Mortgage Fraud Index from MortgageDaily.com came in at 1170. The index represents activity on civil and criminal cases. Victim lenders were deceived by fraudulent documentation or inflated appraisals. Cases were tracked from the mortgage fraud blog FraudBlogger.com. According to Mortgage Daily founder Sam Garcia, “The Mortgage Fraud Index reflects current efforts by law enforcement officials to prosecute defendants who typically committed mortgage fraud three to five years ago.”

Period Amount # Cases
Q3 2011 $1,333.189,232

175

Q2 2011 $1,587,573,586

194

Q3 2010 $1,850,531,120

151

The number of cases with activity in Florida climbed, giving it the worst state fraud index. California had the second-highest index, followed by Minnesota.

Top States by Index

ST

Index

FL

170

CA

153

MN

70

NY

63

TX

60

Based solely on the dollar amount of cases with 3rd quarter activity, California’s $204 million was highest. MLV reported an increase in New York mortgage leads in 3rd quarter as well.

Top States by Total Amount

ST Amount
CA $204,273,490
NY $199,600,000
FL $144,320,669
SC $108,978,654
MN $76,400,000

What does this mean for lenders? If mortgage fraud decreases then likely banks will losen their home loan guidelines which could help increase loan origination. It also means that lenders and brokers should be investing in mortgage leads from a trusted source.  Read more: Mortgage Reform Article Published by the Sacramento Bee

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