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CoreLogic: Mortgage fraud up 20% from 2009

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When CoreLogic (CLGX) analyzed 7 million loan files in its database, it found the rate of mortgage fraud increased by more than 20% from early 2009 with specific processes and products being targeted. CoreLogic said fraudsters are migrating toward higher risk, high-volume loan programs particularly the Federal Housing Administration, and the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program. Short sales and REO sales continue to be a favorite among fraudsters as well. But Tim Grace, senior vice president of Fraud Solutions at CoreLogic said while fraud is going up, the industry is getting better at curbing that threat. "Fraud continues to shift to areas of the lending business where large volume increases occur over short periods of time, or where advanced risk mitigation processes are not squarely in place," Grace said. During the seven quarters of worth of loans CoreLogic analyzed, fraud in refinancing grew 30%. Risk in REO and short sales grew, too. One in every 24 REO transaction was associated with a fraudulent resale. In the second quarter of 2010, there were 120,000 REO sales, double the amount of short sales. "The only way lenders can preempt these evolving fraud schemes and mitigate the associated risks is through collective, consortium-based tools and information," Grace said. Write to Jon Prior.

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