Mortgage fraud risk declines, but more dollars at stake

Although the risk of mortgage fraud is declining, an increase in mortgage applications due to the rebounding housing market means more dollars are at stake for lenders, according to a quarterly report from real estate information and technology firm CoreLogic.

Fraud risk among U.S. mortgage applications fell 5.6 percent year over year in the second quarter, the fifth straight quarter of annual decreases, the report said. CoreLogic estimated 19,700 applications had a high fraud risk last quarter, or 0.8 percent of the 2.4 million applications submitted. That’s down from 20,900 high-risk applications in second-quarter 2012.

Residential mortgage applications with fraudulent information totaled an estimated $5.3 billion nationally in the second quarter, down from $5.5 billion in second-quarter 2012, but up slightly from $5.2 billion in first-quarter 2013, the report said.

The combined value of fraudulent loan applications for the first half of 2013 was about $10.5 billion. The total dollars of fraudulent applications rose in 27 states compared to the first quarter, the report said.

CoreLogic’s Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index peaked in the first quarter of 2012 and has fallen 6.8 percent since then, the company said.

“Since the beginning of 2012, mortgage application fraud risk has totaled more than $30 billion nationally,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement….read more

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