The percentage of mortgage fraud activity rose 20 percent in the third quarter compared to a year earlier, a report by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network finds. Almost 62 percent of the nearly 20,000 suspicious activity reports in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, began about four years ago, the report noted.
Suspicious activity included loan workout or debt elimination, questionable refinance or loan modification attempts, as well as Social Security number discrepancies on loan applications.
“As housing markets look to recover, criminals persist in their efforts to prey on struggling home owners, while financial institutions continue to uncover apparent fraud as they work through their portfolios of earlier mortgages now in default,” FinCEN Director James Freis said in a statement.
The top five states with the highest number of fraud reports per capita in the third quarter were:
Meanwhile, the top five counties for fraud reports were Santa Clara County, Calif.; Honolulu; Orange County, Calif.; San Bernardino County, Calif.; and Palm Beach County, Fla.
Source: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
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