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Investment Properties Account for Highest Mortgage Fraud Risk

Overall, mortgage fraud risk in Q3 declined, however purchase applications revealed a 6% risk increase since Q2. The one fraud type segment to increase since last year is occupancy fraud. This intel comes from the latest CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report.

The CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index showed a 26.3% year-over-year decrease in fraud risk at the end of the second quarter of 2020. "This marks the second year of substantial decreases in risk," the company reported.

During Q2 2020, an estimated one in 164 mortgage applications contained indications of fraud, compared with the reported one in 123 mortgages the same period last year. Continued low mortgage rates and a record volume of refinances pushed the overall fraud risk down. However, risk in the purchase segment increased 6%, with investment properties driving the highest risk in both purchase and refinance populations.

“The large drop in fraud risk in the past year was primarily driven by record-high refinancing, which is traditionally lower risk transactions,” said Bridget Berg, Principal of Fraud Solutions Strategy for CoreLogic. “However, we still see elevated levels of risk in purchase transactions, and we have not yet seen the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s imperative risk managers remain vigilant in searching out potential fraud.”

The entire report can be found here, complete with risk assessment by region and methodology; the researchers pulled the following highlights:

  • Occupancy fraud risk was the only fraud type segment to experience an increase year over year, jumping 25.8% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.
  • New York, Nevada and Florida were the top three states with the largest amount of mortgage application fraud risk. Nevada moved into the top three for the first time since 2014, showing a risk increase of 8% year-over-year.
  • Nevada was also the only state in the top five that showed increased risk when compared to 2019.
  • States with the greatest year-over-year risk growth include New Hampshire, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nevada and Rhode Island. Lower-populated states tend to show greater volatility due to less lending activity.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others.
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