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Mortgage broker, originator and banker criminal cases. Real estate flipping and appraisal fraud. Mortgage fraud prevention, studies and analysis.

Mortgage Fraud Risk Rises, Jumbo Riskier

Mortgage Fraud Risk Index up 4% in Q3

Nov. 20, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The risk of mortgage fraud increased during the latest three-month period -- with identity and occupancy fraud risk seeing the most deterioration. New data suggests that jumbo mortgages present more risk than non-jumbo loans. A community that borders Arkansas and Missouri is one of the nation's worst hot spots.

In the third quarter, the National Mortgage Fraud Risk Index was 108. The index moved up from the second quarter, when it stood at 104.

Compared to the revised index level for the third quarter of last year, the risk of mortgage fraud has worsened by 10 percent.

Interthinx, which publishes the index, reported that California ranked as the riskiest state with a score of 151. The Golden State is home to seven of the 10-worst metropolitan statistical areas.

Behind California was Washington, D.C., where the risk index was 146.

Nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively, were Delaware, Hawaii and Montana.

The lowest risk of mortgage fraud is in West Virginia, where the index was just 66.

By MSA, Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo., had the highest risk index: 186.

Interthinx reported the Property Valuation Fraud Risk Index at 102, improving from 105 in the previous report. However, the risk of valuation fraud his crept up 2 percent over the past year.

With an index of 182, valuation fraud was most likely in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA.

The index for identity fraud came in at 107, jumping 18 percent from the prior quarter and up 10 percent from a year earlier. The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA also dominated this category with a whopping score of 288.

Occupancy fraud risk was worse, with the index rising to 147 from 126. Risk in this category has elevated 36 percent over the prior year.

Occupancy fraud was most likely in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., MSA, where then index has more than doubled over the past year to 263.

A 17 percent decline from the second quarter left the Employment/Income Fraud Risk Index at 76. This category has seen a 12 percent decline in risk from the third-quarter 2012.

The MSA at the highest risk of employment-income fraud was San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif., with an index of 152.

The index for just jumbo mortgages was 164 versus just 102 for non-jumbo loans.

The jumbo disparity was greatest with occupancy fraud risk, though the level of jumbo disparity with employment-income was close behind.

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