COFI Warming Up
The Cost of Funds Index continued to move higher.
Mortgage Insurance Volume Eases
|Multifamily, Retail Activity Soars
MortgageDaily.com tracked a total of 38 commercial mortgage transactions for $712.1 million during the past 12 days. Included in the activity were 10 multifamily deals totaling $64.5 million, nine retail properties financed for $41.5 million and one mixed use property financing for $343.0 million.
Business volume at the nation's mortgage insurers eased last month and appears headed lower.
Flagstar Fundings, Earnings Deteriorate
Quarterly business worsened at Flagstar Bancorp Inc. -- which saw profits plummet.
Chase Poised to Increase Market Share
JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted the size of its mortgage sales force over the past year and will take advantage of its ability to portfolio nonconforming loans.
Mortgage Lead Insider
A provider of reverse mortgage leads said it has found an additional 4.5 million prospects, while another loan lead provider telephones prospects before delivering leads. A new system implemented by one mortgage company has boosted the value and conversions of its lead prospects.
Delay Sought on FHA Risked Based Premiums
To maintain viability, the Department of Housing and Urban development wants to soon start charging borrowers upfront risk-based premiums on government-insured loans, but mortgage bankers warn more time is necessary to implement such measures.
Legislation's Passage Could Raise Rates 2%
Mortgage bankers warned Congress against proposed bankruptcy reform
Paradigm Shift in Subprime Debt Ratios
Utilizing new guidance issued by federal and state regulators, a majority of subprime adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers would have debt-to-income ratios of more than 50 percent, according to a new study.
Lender Dumps Wholesale, Expands Retail
Poor performance of broker originated mortgages has led a Missouri bank to abandon the channel. But the company is optimistic about its retail operations.
AAA CDOs Slipping
Negative actions were taken on $37 billion in subprime related securities -- though some of the negative activity managed to seep into commercial transactions. Meanwhile, Connecticut is probing the ratings agencies for potential antitrust violations.
Mergers, CEOs & REITs
A small bank acquisition is among the few deals in the works as Merrill Lynch & Co. searches for a new chief. A report that gave a glowing outlook for real estate investment trusts gave a starkly contrasting forecast for just mortgage REITs.
Improvements to Servicing Technology, SEO
With servicers moving to the forefront of the mortgage industry, improvements to servicing technology are growing. Meanwhile, a public relations firm says mortgage companies and the vendors that serve them are doing a poor job at search engine optimization.
Jumbo, HEL Delinquency Worsens
Monthly delinquency on jumbo mortgages and home equity loans worsened, while prepayment speeds slowed.
A California-based broker is looking to hire loan officers in at least five Western states. The company's chief, who attributes the success to its mortgage brokerage structure, forecasts a net branching demise.
Branch Network Out Of Operation
A once lauded Northern California mortgage company that boasts a network of more than 50 mortgage brokers and branch affiliates and annual originations "in the billions" is going out of business.
Morgan Stanley v. Fremont
Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings has filed a lawsuit against Fremont Investment & Loan, charging the former subprime lender with failure to cure or repurchase 231 loans because of misrepresentations that drove down the value of the mortgages.
Chase Cuts Home Equity Jobs
Declining home equity volume will lead to hundreds of job cuts at Chase Home Finance, though job additions will offset some of the reductions.
Fannie Boosts Business
Quarterly business was better at Fannie Mae.
Mortgage Industry Earnings Tank
Countrywide Financial Corp. announced its quarterly earnings worsened by $1.7 billion from the prior quarter and by nearly $3.0 billion from a year earlier. But an improved fourth quarter outlook sent shares soaring by nearly a third. Meanwhile, several other companies reported hundreds of millions of dollars in combined mortgage-related losses.
Couple Exploits Minor TIL Discrepancy
|Mortgage Broker Released from Iranian Prison
After spending more than four months in an Iranian prison for allegedly being a political threat, a California mortgage broker said he was not shocked to return to a devastated U.S. mortgage market.
An Indiana couple has sued to rescind a subprime home equity loan and recover damages because, they claim, the Truth in Lending Act disclosure did not explicitly state monthly payments were required -- though it did state "periodic" payments were required and other loan documents clearly stated that monthly payments were required. Attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking class action certification.
State Shuts Down Branch Operation
Massachusetts regulators have ordered a branch operation to shut down because it committed mortgage fraud and continued to employ unlicensed originators even after previously being ordered not to do so.
Subprime Downgrades, CMBS Upgrades
The upgrading of ratings on commercial mortgage-backed securities continued to contrast downgrades on residential subprime issuances. Meanwhile, uncertainty over Option One Mortgage Corp.'s future forced a second agency to lower its servicer rating.
Rates Drop, Apps Maintain
Mortgage rates saw a big weekly improvement -- though longer term forecasts have interest rates worsening. Originators, meanwhile, maintained the same level of 1003 applications as the prior week.
Bank of America Closing Wholesale
Bank of America is abandoning mortgage broker business.
Subprime Crisis to Cost U.S. $2.3 Trillion
A new Senate subprime study suggests 1.7 million more foreclosures will occur during the next 26 months resulting in a $2.3 trillion hit to the U.S. economy.
BoA Sued for $25 Million Over Mortgage Losses
In a lawsuit filed this week, Bank of America is accused of reneging on its obligations to cover a share of mortgage losses under swap agreements with two special purpose entities. The plaintiffs in the case are seeking more than $25 million.
Hard Times for Hard Money Lender
Low loan-to-values were apparently not enough to sustain a California-based hard money wholesale lender that handled nearly $1 billion in applications annually
Mixed Support for Subprime Bill
Several groups testified Wednesday before Congress about anti-predatory legislation introduced earlier this week. Mortgage brokers warned against the proposed elimination of yield spread premiums while mortgage bankers expressed opposition to provisions that would require suitability standards and lower the threshold for loans considered to be high cost. Consumer groups called for more accountability by investment bankers.
National City Cancels Correspondent Channel
National City Corp. has narrowed mortgage lending channels to wholesale and retail.
1 Dead, 2 Seriously Injured
The country's credit crunch has cost two companies more than $8 billion and one wholesaler its life. Meanwhile, an exodus of founding chief executive officers from real estate investments trusts has one ratings agency warning bondholders about the troubling trend.
Dude, You're Not Getting a Dell
Dell Inc. is denying credit to mortgage companies..
DPA Fight Goes On
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted AmeriDream Inc. another four months to continue providing seller assisted downpayments on government-insured loans. The move provides more time for the two parties to battle in court.
Freddie Portfolio Surpasses $2 Trillion
As delinquent loans increased for the third consecutive month, quarterly business purchases fell at Freddie Mac. But monthly activity surged as the government-sponsored enterprise saw its total mortgage portfolio surpass $2 trillion.
Reverse Lender Growing, Hiring
A New York-based reverse mortgage lender recently boosted its staff by 100 employees and it looking to add more.
National City Originations, Earnings Tumble
Driven by a giant decline in quarterly home equity production, residential volume was off by one-quarter at National City Corp. Meanwhile, mortgage banking earnings swung to a big loss.
Nonprime Servicers, RMBS Downgraded
As ratings on subprime securities continued to be pounded, Option One Mortgage Corp. and IndyMac Bank F.S.B. saw their servicer ratings deteriorate. But at least one servicer and several commercial-backed mortgage securities saw improvements to their ratings.
State, Federal Legislative Activity
As states continue to aggressively regulate the mortgage industry a top trade group is anxious to tell federal lawmakers that a more uniform standard is needed.
Massive Wave of Foreclosure Relief Programs
Countrywide Financial Corp.'s commitment to modify $16 billion in mortgages wasn't the only big recent foreclosure prevention news.
Succeeding in Current Environment
For those of you who have not been in the industry for 30 years as I have, you are experiencing possibly your first severe downturn. But by looking beyond the current credit crisis, you can establish long-term benefits by focusing on the long-term financial health of your customers.
Despite an environment where banks and lenders continue to take massive mortgage-related charges, one Georgia-based company is launching a new wholesale operation. Meanwhile, the government has mailed hundreds of millions of dollars in checks to investors who were deceived by former executives of Fannie Mae.
Bill Proposes Elimination of YSPs
Provisions of a new predatory lending bill introduced by Democrats yesterday would eliminate yield spread premiums, reduce the threshold on loans considered to be high cost and force servicers to honor existing leases on properties they have foreclosed on.
Buying, Selling Mortgage Leads
FHA mortgage leads are being marketed by one lead generation company while another is creating a market for dead leads.
Anatomy of Mortgage Market Meltdown
A report to Congress last week detailed the rise and fall of the mortgage market during the past five years and offered some explanation for the recent rash of defaults.
Deluge of Downgrades
Two of the major credit ratings agencies issued downgrades, or warned of possible downgrades, on hundreds of subprime deals -- though the third major agency offered a less dire outlook going forward.
Wachovia v. Ameriquest
Wachovia Bank N.A. has filed a lawsuit against Ameriquest Mortgage Co. alleging the former subprime lender has not complied with repurchase requests on loans with fraudulent files.
Still Some Subprime
A survey of major subprime lenders by MortgageDaily.com indicates there are still subprime mortgage programs available for FICO scores as low as 525 -- though loan-to-values have diminished. But the story is different for Alt-A lending, with low documentation, no documentation and stated-income loans for salaried borrowers pretty much a thing of the past.
2 More Go Down
Two more mortgage companies have reached the end of the line. One, an Arizona lender that had originated more than $1 billion annually, was granted approval to liquidate by a bankruptcy judge. The other, a California company, has stopped doing new business.
Cease & Desist Issued Against NV Co.
A Nevada mortgage company has been ordered to stop making illegal, unsecured loans that were presented to investors as loans secured by real estate.
No Slump in Digital Offerings
| Retail Property Financing
Shopping centers and other retail properties placed prominently among transactions covered in the latest edition of commercial mortgage activity.
Technological advancements have shown no signs of abating recently and included improvements to compliance solutions, loan origination systems and secondary marketing software. One new digital offering promises to help originators boost FHA business while another automates income verification.
Wachovia Originations, Earnings Off
Activity weakened at Wachovia Corp.
Realtors Also Guilty
First is was the lenders. Then mortgage brokers. Then the ratings agencies. Now, real estate agents have joined the growing list of those accused of being responsible for the nation's credit crisis.
Jobs, Volume to Worsen Before Recovery
BOSTON -- While there have been few winners in the 2007 mortgage crisis, there are plenty of losers -- including mortgage employees and subprime originators. At a scantly attended mortgage banking conference this week, predictions of a quick recovery were absent, though some are still making their way in the new environment.
Rates to Hold
Mortgage rates stayed near current levels and are not expected to worsen for at least eight months.
First Horizon Figures Fall
Quarterly fundings fell at First Horizon National Corp., which saw mortgage banking income turn to a loss from the prior quarter's profit.
Business Sinks at SunTrust
Mortgage loan production tumbled at SunTrust Banks Inc. -- reversing big gains made in the second quarter. The servicing portfolio and net income also declined.
Business at Bank of America Corp. eased during the latest quarter. But mortgage banking income managed an increase.
Mortgage Industry Shake Up
This week, Thornburg Mortgage Inc. reported a massive loss, NovaStar Financial Inc. was booted from the New York Stock Exchange and the top securities regulator opened an investigation into suspicious stock trading by Countrywide Financial Corp.'s founder. On the bright side, a new mortgage conduit was launched for manufactured home financing while a $5 billion servicing portfolio traded hands.
WaMu Business Sinks
Washington Mutual Inc. saw mortgage fundings tumble 21 percent. An 80 percent drop in subprime business helped fuel the decline.
Branch Operation Dead
A Boston-based lender that twice ranked among the fastest growing privately held companies has stopped doing new business -- putting about 140 employees out of work and leaving more than a dozen branches searching for a new home.
$23 Billion in 2007 Deals Downgraded
Recent ratings actions on mortgage-backed securities were mixed -- though some residential transactions may have avoided downgrades had new overcollateralization floor guidelines been in place. On agency announced massive downgrades on transactions issued this year.
Mortgage Recovery 2 Years Away
Mortgage bankers are forecasting declining loan originations until 2009. Fixed interest rates are expected to rise about 0.2 percent by early next year.
More ResCap Layoffs
Residential Capital LLC will layoff thousands of employees on top of the thousands of job cuts it has already made this year.
JPMorgan Business Lower
A drop in mortgage broker business helped push residential originations lower at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Mortgage Industry Reshapes
A California-based subprime lender is starting up operations again while another is unloading all of its servicing -- likely leading to hundreds of layoffs. After just three months in business, a Texas company that acquires distressed portfolios has already started cashing in its bets.
New Wholesale Programs
The latest broker offerings include fractional ownership financing, jumbo reverse mortgages and a LIBOR-based reverse loan. One major wholesaler announced a crackdown on mortgage broker disclosures.
2008 Conforming Limit
Despite a potential decline in home values, the conforming limit will not be reduced next year.
U.S. Bank Boosts Production
Third quarter residential originations increased at U.S. Bank Home Mortgage.
Wells Volume Down
Led by a decline in indirect originations, quarterly mortgage production fell at Wells Fargo & Co.
$4.6 Billion Subprime Deals Downgraded
Hundreds of classes of securitizations backed by subprime loans were downgraded.
Mortgage technology providers are busy this week touting their wares at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Boston. Dominant among the latest offerings were advancements in loan disclosures as well as secondary marketing technology.
Treasury Behind Commercial Paper Plan
The U.S. Treasury is behind a plan by the country's biggest banks to create a superconduit commercial paper facility backed by securities including those that are mortgage-related.
Foreclosure Prevention Guide
As the pace of foreclosures eased, Texas and Ohio are attempting to hold servicers accountable for their level of foreclosure prevention activity. Meanwhile, a mortgage trade group has launched a Web site to help borrowers reach their servicers.
Nomura Shutters U.S. RMBS Ops
The Japanese investment banking firm of Nomura Holdings Inc. announced today it will abandon the U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities market.
Citi Production Tumbles
Citigroup Inc. reported quarterly residential mortgage fundings sank, delinquency jumped and its servicing portfolio declined. The company took a massive charge on the value of its mortgage securities.
Mortgage Market Turmoil Continues
The successful sale of a California-based subprime lender was overshadowed by more than $1 billion in charges, more investor class action lawsuits and the closure of another nonprime wholesaler. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been asked by one state official to investigate the sale of stock by Countrywide Financial Corp.'s chairman.
Best Leads Practices Recommended
Lead generation companies are being asked to voluntarily adopt a set of best practices.
Boom to Bust in Under a Year
|$1 Billion in Commercial Deals
Commercial mortgage lenders and brokers were busy this past week with 23 deals tracked by MortgageDaily.com for $1 billion mostly on multifamily, retail and office properties.
A California-based mortgage company, which last year touted over $5 billion in annual production, collapsed less than a year later. Before its demise, the company had faced actions by regulators in several states.
Lehman Sued, Suing
Lehman Brothers Bank FSB has been sued by a Tennessee storage company, charging that the bank failed to honor rate lock agreements for a commercial mortgage of more than $3 million and failed to return a total of $186,500 in rate lock payments and other deposits.
Massive Downgrades from Moody's
On Thursday, Moody's Investors Service announced downgrades to over $33 billion of securities issued in 2006 backed by subprime, first-lien mortgages.
Lenders Improve Imaging
Several different document imaging solutions were recently implemented by mortgage companies. Other technological advancements involved wholesale loan searching and mortgage lead management.
FHA Fraud at Builder's Mortgage Unit
A major U.S. builder has found that employees of its mortgage unit may have committed fraud on government-insured loans. The company, which hopes to escape with $15 million in settlements, will also restate three years of financial statements.
Lenders Say No to Higher Conforming Limits
Mortgage lenders are urging members of Congress not to raise the conforming limit -- warning that only wealthy borrowers would benefit at the expense of everyone else.
Rates, Apps Edge Higher
As mortgage rates ticked up on data indicating greater economic strength, there was slightly more demand for mortgages. But rates appear to be headed even higher based on Treasury activity.
Fundings Tank at Countrywide
Monthly and quarterly loans originations tumbled at Countrywide Financial Corp. Nonprime, correspondent and variable-rate activity saw massive declines while delinquency and foreclosures jumped. But the size of the company's servicing portfolio managed an increase.
A new report released today indicates the number of foreclosures fell last month. While California and Nevada maintained their status as the states with the worst rankings, Vermont ranked best.
Best HELOC Servicers
A new study of home equity line-of-credit servicers found SunTrust ranked highest among borrowers.
The Foreclosure Plan
The Bush administration has launched an initiative to help more borrowers avoid foreclosure -- though one group is calling for less government assistance. Meanwhile, states continue to aggressively develop their own plans to help delinquent borrowers and restrain mortgage lenders.
Fraud a Factor in Faulty RMBS Performance
Ratings agencies are not responsible for detecting mortgage fraud in residential mortgage-backed securities they rate, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's. Fraud was found to be more common among brokers than retail originators.
States Legislate Lenders
Some of the country's biggest states have drafted or passed legislation designed to help borrowers and crack down on mortgage lenders. One state is attempting to impose suitability standards while another is giving borrowers who were victimized by fraud up to six months to rescind their loans.
Mortgage Profits Tumble
Last year, mortgage bankers originated loans at a loss, according to a new industry study which also showed loan officer loan production fell by one-quarter. The share of fixed-rate conventional loans was higher for correspondent originations than broker or retail business.
Ensuring Electronic Enforceability
Mortgage lenders who close mortgages electronically are required use special technology that validates the authenticity of loan documents. A new study details steps lenders can take to ensure digital documents hold up in court.
Group Warns on Large Scale Modifications
In response to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s call for servicers to step up loan modification activity, a group of lenders, servicers and other service-providers warned such a move could have devastating consequences.
Bank Underwriting Eases, Risk Rises
A survey of the biggest U.S. banks by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency indicated lending standards continued to ease for the fourth consecutive year. Credit risks are expected to keep increasing.
Credit Score Technology Boosts Prospects
A new study suggests that mortgage bankers could increase their pool of qualified prospects while weeding out consumers with artificially inflated credit scores by using VantageScore. The recently developed credit scoring system reportedly helps distinguish between high risk and low risk subprime borrowers.
Secrets to Successful Lead Generation
Whether mortgage leads are generated by loan originators or lead companies, there are several factors that can enhance the value of the leads.
Some Employees Escape Failing Firm
As Market Street Mortgage Corp. shuts down, some of its Texas employees have been scooped up by a new joint venture.
YSP, Shareholder Litigation Update
The failure to disclose yield spread premiums paid to brokers by a subprime lender cost the company more than $5 million. In other litigation, investor class actions filed against mortgage lenders moved forward while three partners at a major class action law firm that has sued several lenders may be headed to jail.
Downgrades Hit NIMs, Mixed CMBS Activity
Commercial mortgage-backed securities, which have been mostly immune to the avalanche of negative ratings activity recently, saw two deals downgraded this past week -- though several deals were also upgraded. Meanwhile, one ratings agency has been busy downgrading net interest margin securities.
Recent technological improvements to loan origination software packages promise to help improve productivity. In banking, another institution is going mobile.
FDIC Says Make Teaser Rates Permanent
The chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said a national set of subprime standards is being prepared for banks and nonbank lenders. She expressed disappointment over the slow pace of loan modifications and suggested servicers make initial rates permanent.
MortgageIT Cuts Jobs
Slowed mortgage demand led Deutsche Bank to become the latest investment banker to lay off hundreds of mortgage employees.
$5.6 Billion Subprime Charges Announced
Three companies disclosed today subprime-related charges totaling more than $5.6 billion. But despite the massive charges, one billionaire investor successfully bid on the operations of a bankrupt nonprime lender.
Wholesaler Halts New Business
MortgageDaily.com has confirmed the demise of yet another California-based nonprime wholesale operation -- this one affecting around 300 employees. But the company hopes to emerge again when the market rebounds.
2007 RMBS Performing Poorly
The head of the government's bank insurance fund prefers loan modifications over a federal bailout and said early indications are that subprime originations from this year are performing no better than their catastrophic counterparts from 2005 and 2006. A similar dismal assessment of vintage 2007 performance was also made by an investment banking firm.
Massive Mortgage Job Decline
Mortgage jobs are down by more than 70,000 from a year ago, according to government data released today. But the number of mortgage brokers actually increased from the prior month.
2 Mortgage Bills Progress
One bill passed by the U.S. House of Representative's yesterday would relieve foreclosed borrowers of tax liability for deficiency balances forgiven by mortgage lenders. Another bill passed by a House committee would empower bankruptcy judges to make modifications to mortgages based on loan-to-value.
Program Targets Thin-File Borrowers
Borrowers with little in the way of traditional credit may now qualify under a new loan program being tested in the nation's capital.
Subprime Solutions, Lender Litigation
A new joint venture promises to help subprime mortgage bankers unload defaulted loans. Meanwhile, a Texas-based fund prepares to close on its acquisition of a subprime lender as class action attorneys file litigation against two other lenders.
Mixed Mortgage Data
Fewer mortgage shoppers were in the market as rates relented amid weak housing data. Rates are forecasted to stay slightly above their current levels.
Fitch Finalizes Subprime Ratings Overhaul
One ratings agency said it has finished overhauling its ratings on over $170 billion in subprime transactions. Meanwhile, commercial deals continued to be the only bright spot in recent ratings activity.
Option One Lines Cut Sharply
Option One Mortgage Corp. has seen its warehouse line capacity cut from more than $5 billion to less than $1 billion.
HUD Mortgagee Updates
|Senior Living, Office Properties Financed
About $180 million in loans were arranged in this latest installment of commercial mortgage activity. Renters and aging baby boomers drove nearly $120 million of the activity.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has made changes to escrow requirements and other claims procedures on government-insured loans.
More Bear Layoffs
For the second time in as many months, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. will lay off hundreds of mortgage employees.
Mortgage Czar Proposed
House Democrats have unveiled a plan for the Bush Administration to appoint a mortgage czar. The plan also includes increased funding and a temporary boost to government sponsored enterprise portfolio limits.
$5 Million Fraud Lawsuit
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against a plethora of Ohio and Florida businesses by Regions Bank, which claims that it is owed $5 million from a mortgage fraud scam masterminded by the owner of a title and settlement company.
How to Minimize Foreclosures
Several state and federal initiatives designed to help reduce the fallout from forecasted foreclosures were recently announced. Meanwhile, a growing private sector is capitalizing on the expanding foreclosure industry.
The Tech aTTack
The latest technological advancements in real estate finance span the mortgage process from the lead generation phase to the foreclosure workout phase.
FLHB Activity Still Strong
Activity continued to increase at the Federal Home Loan Banks.
MTA Improves Again
For the fifth consecutive month, the Monthly Treasury Average moved lower.
Morgan Stanley Cuts 600 Mortgage Jobs
Morgan Stanley has restructured its residential mortgage business and laid off hundreds of employees in the process.
AmeriDream, Nehemiah Sue HUD
A final ruling on seller-assisted downpayments by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has prompted organizations dependent on such programs to file lawsuits against the agency.
Subprime Ratings Sink
Negative actions hit ratings on classes of several subprime residential mortgage-backed securities as well as the servicer quality of Countrywide and IndyMac. But there was at least one upgrade.
Lender Shutters Operations
A national lender that closed as much as $5 billion annually has closed its field operations and isn't talking about whether further business will be conducted from remaining operations at the California headquarters.
Lenders Warn Against New Fraud Legislation
Mortgage bankers have warned about passing new mortgage fraud legislation that could have unintended consequences. Instead, they pointed to provisions of legislation from a Democratic presidential candidate and cautioned against confusing predatory lending with loan fraud.
NetBank Collapse Trumps Citi, UBS Charges
Massive subprime related charges at UBS and Citigroup Inc. were topped only by NetBank Inc.'s failure. Two transactions to take place involved multifamily mortgages.
Industrialization of Mortgages
Mortgages on industrial, office and retail properties were arranged as a steady stream of multifamily deals moved through the pipeline.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has said no to seller funded downpayment assistance on federally insured loans.
Following cease and desist orders from several state banking regulators, a Florida-based lender has called it quits.
COFI Reverses Course
Following two consecutive monthly declines, the Cost of Funds Index edged higher. But another popular index for variable rate loans has tumbled over the past month.
Fraud Index Improves
The load of mortgage fraud cases eased in September -- though the dollar amount of those cases rose, according to the FraudBlogger Index.