LAS VEGAS — (May 16, 2011) /PRNewswire/ The first three months of this year brought a 44 percent increase in the dollar volume of mortgage fraud case activity, according to the First-Quarter 2011 Mortgage Fraud Index from MortgageDaily.com. The report, which is being announced from the floor of the Global Technology Summit 2011, indicated that prosecution of mortgage fraud occurs around four years after the crime.
The Mortgage Fraud Index climbed to 990 from the fourth quarter’s 126. The index, which is based on mortgage fraud case activity tracked at the mortgage fraud blog FraudBlogger.com, was lower than 1144 in the first-quarter 2010.
The cases covered by the index represented fraud on an estimated $1.2 billion in real estate loans, rising from $0.9 billion in the final period of last year.
Index by Quarter
“We’re seeing signs that repurchases are responsible for some of the latest increase,” said MortgageDaily.com Founder and Publisher Sam Garcia. “Smaller firms that are forced to buy back loans from housing agencies or correspondent lenders are doing their own investigations and uncovering more fraudulent activity.”
Mr. Garcia is moderating a mortgage fraud panel Monday at the GTS 2011 being held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Florida had the highest index: 130. California and New York followed.
Top States by Index
With nearly $0.3 billion in mortgages associated with first-quarter case activity in California, the Golden State had the highest dollar amount. Florida was No. 2.
Top States by Amount
“The average quarterly index peaked in 2009 at 1676, while loan delinquency also topped out that year,” Mr. Garcia stated. “But subprime mortgage production peaked in 2005, suggesting an average lag time of around four years from when the actual fraud occurred to when the criminal case is prosecuted.”