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Mortgage Fraud Index Drops To Five-Year Low

Mortgage fraud activity plummeted to a five-year low to close out 2012. While the news is promising, experts believe the fourth quarter drop is likely a temporary one, with activity already warming up again in the first quarter of 2013.

The Mortgage Fraud Index — which is factored by MortgageDaily.com using data tracked by FraudBlogger.com — calculates both the overall number of fraud cases and the estimated loan amounts for each case. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Mortgage Daily tracked activity on 105 mortgage fraud cases nationwide, accounting for a fraud index of 758, its lowest figure since 2007. This illustrates a significant decrease from its 1017 index in the prior quarter, and an 1141 index the year before, in the fourth quarter of 2011.

While activity appeared to be trending downward for 2012, figures being tracked this year already indicate increased activity in 2013.

“Preliminary data indicates that mortgage fraud case activity during the first quarter of this year was up around 25 percent from the fourth quarter,” said Sam Garcia, founder and publisher of Mortgage Daily.

Florida and California held the highest state indexes at 97 each, indicating an improvement for California, while Florida maxed out with as the state with the highest loan totals, tipping the scale at $246,873,472. Texas (index of 63), New York (43) and Arizona (43) round out the top five states with the highest mortgage fraud index figures.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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