FBI: Mortgage Fraud Suspicious Activity Reports Jump

ge fraud Suspicious Activity Reports referred to law enforcement increased 36% to 63,713 during fiscal year (FY) 2008, compared to 46,717 reports in FY 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) [link=http://www.fbi.gov/publications/fraud/mortgage_fraud08.htm][u]2008 Mortgage Fraud Report[/u][/link]. While the total dollar loss attributed to mortgage fraud is unknown, financial institutions reported losses of at least $1.4 billion – an increase of 83.4% from FY 2007. According to the report, 63% of all pending FBI mortgage fraud investigations during FY 2008 involved dollar losses totaling more than $1 million. "Mortgage fraud hurts borrowers, financial institutions and legitimate homeowners," says Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division. "The FBI, in conjunction with our law enforcement, regulatory and industry partners, continues to diligently pursue perpetrators of mortgage fraud schemes." While criminals continued using old schemes, including property flipping, builder bailouts, short sales and foreclosure rescues, new schemes – such as reverse mortgage fraud, credit enhancements, condo conversion, loan modifications and "pump and pay" – proliferated. The Western region of the U.S. had the most pending FBI mortgage fraud-related investigations in FY 2008, the agency says, and the top five mortgage fraud states for the year were California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia and Ohio. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia were newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems. SOUR

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