During the second quarter, both the number of mortgage fraud cases and the dollar amount of related fraud doubled from a year earlier, according to the FraudBlogger Index published by MortgageDaily.com.
From April 1 to June 30, $1.7 billion in active criminal and civil mortgage fraud cases were tracked by publication, up from $1.0 billion the previous quarter and $0.8 billion in the second quarter of 2007.
There were a total of 1,230 active mortgage fraud cases tracked during the quarter, up from 713 in the first quarter and 590 a year earlier.
“The surge in mortgage fraud activity was primarily driven by two factors,” MortgageDaily.com Publisher Sam Garcia said. “First, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice stepped up their efforts with Operation Malicious Mortgage — yielding increased indictments and arrests.”
“Second, we’re seeing greater stress in the 2005 through 2007 vintages as the real estate market continues to weaken, causing more of the fraudulent loans to surface.”
Mortgage fraud was most prevalent in Michigan, followed closely by Florida, while Texas, Illinois, and Hawaii rounded out the top five.
Florida led the nation in fraud by dollar amount, with $206 million tied up, a $174 million increase from a year ago, followed by Illinois with $178 million and California with $155 million.
Georgia saw the biggest improvement from the second quarter of 2007, with mortgage fraud down a whopping $146.4 million.