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Mortgage Fraud Case Activity Slows

Mortgage Fraud Index 758 in Q4 2012

April 8, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

index by statehistorical index data

The holidays took a toll on mortgage fraud prosecutions, as the fourth-quarter 2012 Mortgage Fraud Index sank to its lowest level in nearly five years. However, the drop appears to have only been temporary. California saw a big improvement, while the dollar volume in Florida spiked.

Mortgage Daily tracked activity on 105 mortgage fraud cases for less than $1.3 billion from Oct. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012 . The actions are chronicled at the mortgage fraud blog and represent activity on mostly criminal cases filed in local, state and federal courts.

It was the fewest number of cases tracked since at least 2007, while the dollar amount hasn't been this low since the first-quarter 2011.

Activity fell from 141 cases for nearly $1.7 billion three months earlier and 171 cases for nearly $1.8 billion a year earlier.

The Mortgage Fraud Index, itself, landed at 758 in the fourth quarter -- its lowest showing since the first-quarter 2008 when it stood at 713.

Index by Quarter
Period U.S. Index
Loan Amounts
# Cases
Q4 2012 758 $1,254,832,325 105
Q3 2012 1017 $1,682,800,448 141
Q4 2011 1141 $1,751,550,050 171

But the decline in activity appears only to be temporary, according to Mortgage Daily Founder and Publisher Sam Garcia.

"Preliminary data indicates that mortgage fraud case activity during the first quarter of this year was up around 25 percent from the fourth quarter," he said.

The Mortgage Fraud Index factors in both the number of active cases and the estimated amount of loans associated with each case.

While Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, and other fraud risk measures focus on mortgage fraud that might have happened or could happen -- the Mortgage Fraud Index reflects proven cases of fraud.

Based on the dollar amount of loans involved, Florida -- which wasn't even ranked among the five-worst during the third quarter -- ascended to the top spot with $247 million in mortgages associated with Florida cases.

California tied Florida for the highest state index: 97. California's index tumbled from 193 in the third quarter, when it was it had the highest index.

Texas jumped to the next position from No. 5 in the prior period, and New York maintained its fourth-place position.

Top States by Total Amount
Florida 97 $246,873,472
California 97 $194,255,388
Texas 63 $122,275,688
New York 40 $101,100,000
Arizona 43 $81,000,000
Massachusetts 20 $79,900,000
North Carolina 13 $75,000,000
South Carolina 23 $49,747,172
Pennsylvania 27 $46,400,000
Washington 10 $30,000,000

Mortgage Fraud Index 758 in Q4 2012
Mortgage Fraud Index Q4 2012 Dollar Amount

index by statehistorical index data

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