Mortgage Fraud Risk Highest in Florida, New York, New Jersey

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Based on the latest data from CoreLogic’s mortgage fraud risk index, mortgage lenders in the Miami metropolitan area face the highest risk for attempts to commit fraud. The index is based on the share of loan applications that exhibit a high risk of fraud.

According to CoreLogic’s second-quarter 2016 report, the five metro areas with the highest growth in fraud risk are Springfield, Massachusetts (up 74.4%); Syracuse, New York (up 64.6%); Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa (up 44.7%); Augusta, Georgia (up 44.5%); and Columbia, South Carolina (up 42.7%).

The five metros where fraud risk has declined the most are Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida (down 29%); Akron, Ohio (down 28.3%); Spokane, Washington (down 27.6%); North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (down 26.1%); and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (down 24.8%).

On a national level, 0.7% of second-quarter mortgage applications (12,718) are estimated to contain fraudulent information. That compares with 0.67% (12,814) in the second quarter of last year. CoreLogic’s mortgage application fraud risk index rose 3.9% year over year.

Mortgage fraud can take many forms. The basic motive behind most of the borrower-initiated fraud is an attempt to qualify for a mortgage that would otherwise be unavailable. Inflating an appraisal in an attempt to get a mortgage for more than a property is worth or claiming income or assets that a borrower does not have are just two examples.

Borrowers themselves may also be the target of scams seeking to defraud borrowers using loan modification programs or even Ponzi schemes. Promises to rescue a borrower from a foreclosure can leave a beleaguered homeowner in even worse financial shape.

CoreLogic’s mortgage fraud risk index is standardized to a baseline of 100 for the share of high-risk loan applications nationally in the third quarter of 2010. Each one-point change in the index represents a 1%¬†change in the share of mortgage applications having a high risk of fraud.

Here are the 10 metro areas with the highest 2016 second-quarter index scores:

  1. Tampa-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida: 278
  2. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida: 226
  3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida: 213
  4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York/New Jersey: 210
  5. Jacksonville, Florida:198
  6. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond, Florida: 193
  7. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida: 181
  8. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada: 166
  9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California: 164
  10. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 163

The CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report analyzes the collective level of loan application fraud risk the mortgage industry is experiencing each quarter. CoreLogic develops the index based on residential mortgage loan applications processed by CoreLogic LoanSafe Fraud Manager, a predictive scoring technology. The report includes detailed data for six fraud type indicators that complement the national index: identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction and undisclosed real estate debt.

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