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Financial Fraud Law

Is Mortgage Fraud Still Increasing? In A Word, Yes

 Suspicious activity reports can provide a lot of information, including some that might be rather unsettling. So prepare yourself before you look at the mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) for the third quarter of 2011, which have just been released. They show that financial institutions filed 19,934 MLF SARs during that time period, from 16,567 filed in the same quarter of 2010. 

Some of the types of suspicious activity reported included: some form of loan workout or debt elimination attempt, questionable refinance or loan modification attempts by borrowers or others targeting distressed homeowners, and Social Security number discrepancies submitted in the original loan application and the workout request.
 
"As housing markets look to recover, criminals persist in their efforts to prey on struggling homeowners, while financial institutions continue to uncover apparent fraud as they work through their portfolios of earlier mortgages now in default," said James H. Freis, Jr., director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
 
Almost 62 percent of MLF SAR filings reported in the 2011 third quarter involved suspicious activities that started four or more years ago. These filings, driving the continued rise in the MLF SAR numbers, stem largely from mortgage repurchase demands and special filings generated by several depository institutions related to mortgages originated in the height of the housing boom.
 
FinCEN also released per capita rankings of MLF SARs subjects by state and by county. The top five counties ranked per capita and by SAR subject in the third quarter were Santa Clara County, California; Honolulu County, Hawaii; Orange County, California; San Bernardino County, California; and Palm Beach County, Florida. The top five states ranked by per capita and by SAR subject were: Hawaii, California, Nevada, Florida, and Delaware.
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