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Mortgage Fraud Declines as Perps Bilk Lenders in New Ways

Experts anticipate that fewer fraudsters will move on residential mortgage originations over the remainder of the year, drawing a contrast with the number of times alleged perpetrators bilked lenders and homeowners over 2010, according to a new report. Releasing the study, ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/ offered up predictions that originations will fall to $7.4 billion over 2011 even as more people find new ways to defraud their victims.

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The study, titled the ""_2011 Mortgage Fraud Trends Report_"":http://www.marketwatch.com/story/corelogic-estimates-74-billion-in-fraudulent-mortgage-originations-for-2011-2011-09-29, pulled together data from 10.5 million mortgage applications from 2005 to 2011 to reveal the abovementioned figure, which it said reflects a 40-percet drop-off from $12 billion in fraud-related originations that sapped the industry last year.

Why the disincentive for alleged perpetrators of mortgage fraud? CoreLogic chalked up the fewer numbers to simple economics.

The firm said that year-over-year declines in mortgage loan volume over 2011 leveled off attempts by would-be criminals to make a buck off fraudulent applications.

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It found more mortgage fraud activity declining since 2007 as lenders enhanced their vetting tools for pre-funding fraud control.

Commenting on the figures, ""Tim Grace"":http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=29641277&privcapId=4817241&previousCapId=45012462&previousTitle=Ridge%20Global%20LLC, SVP with the firm's Product Management and Analytics, said in a statement, ""Although our data shows the overall fraud rate has been relatively flat over the last few quarters, new fraud schemes are constantly evolving to infiltrate weaknesses and vulnerabilities in lenders' fraud prevention programs. To address this, we developed an Alert Risk Index approach to evaluate the movement in individual fraud types and to observe additional risk patterns.""

He cites as an example elements of the study that show ""the primary reason for the increase in property fraud risk is related to potential fraudulent flipping and flopping of properties.""

Among acts of mortgage fraud uncovered by the study, bilkers committed 262 percent more property-fraud incidences, even while 45 percent fewer lenders falsified their identities and the identities of borrowers, real or fictitious, according to the study.

The CoreLogic index follows a ""2010 mortgage fraud report"":https://themreport.com/articles/fbi-mortgage-fraud-activity-up-in-2010-2011-08-12 by the ""Federal Bureau of Investigation"":http://www.fbi.gov/ that found it likely that mortgage fraud activity would increasingly diversify over the course of 2010.

If recent mortgage fraud activity signals anything, crime ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rising or declining ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô remains a top concern around the country, with ""authorities nabbing"":https://themreport.com/articles/print-view/ex-cops-criminal-enterprises-nabbed-for-mortgage-fraud-2011-09-23 a 32-person criminal enterprise for its alleged involvement in a $5.1-million mortgage fraud scheme and three people for their plot to reap $12 million from illicit loan proceeds.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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