FinCEN: Mortgage Fraud Down 41%, but Foreclosure Scams Surge

Reports of mortgage loan fraud declined in the second quarter of 2012, despite foreclosure rescue schemes rising during the same period of time. 

During the quarter, there were 17,475 mortgage loan suspicious activity reports filed, a 41% decrease over the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest data released this week from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. 

California and Florida remained the highest ranked states for mortgage fraud, FinCEN reported, followed by New York, Illinois and Texas. Los Angeles remained the top-ranked county in the nation. 

The foreclosure modification scams remain of heightened concern, the agency reported, as they prey on the vulnerability of those in danger of losing their homes. Some of the scams offer to transfer the home’s title or make monthly mortgage payments to a “rescuer,” FinCEN found. 

The rise in reports of these scams may be attributable to several causes, the agency said, including a raised awareness of the scams as well as real estate market conditions. 

View the full report

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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