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FBI Report Says Mortgage Fraud Problem Continues to Grow

istock_000007759741xsmall1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The mortgage fraud problem is growing and continues to plague the crippled real estate market.

The FBI on Tuesday released the 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report which showed that mortgage fraud Suspicious Activity Reports increased 36 percent to 63,713 during fiscal year 2008, compared to 46,717 during the same period the year before.

“Mortgage fraud hurts borrowers, financial institutions, and legitimate homeowners,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a prepared statement.
“The FBI, in conjunction with our law enforcement, regulatory, and industry partners, continues to diligently pursue perpetrators of mortgage fraud schemes.”

According to an FBI press release, other key findings in the report include:
•As of FY 2008, the western region of the United States had the most pending FBI mortgage fraud-related investigations.
•The top 10 mortgage fraud states for 2008 were California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Florida, Missouri, and New York.
•Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia were newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems.
•Criminals continued using old schemes, including property flipping, builder-bailouts, short sales, and foreclosure rescues. Additionally, in response to tighter lending practices, they facilitated new schemes, such as reverse mortgage fraud, credit enhancements, condo conversion, loan modifications, and pump and pay.

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