The Treasury Dept.’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently announced that “suspected mortgage loan fraud in the United States continues to rise, and has risen 35 percent in the past year.” [Update: Treasury says it can’t tell how much of the increase is an actual change vs. more thorough reporting. Thanks to Matt Carter of Inman News for pointing that out to me.]
Here’s a link to its 21-page report.
Crimes range from identity theft to falsified credit scores to “silent seconds,” where buyers borrow their downpayments but don’t reveal that to the primary lender.
Now that the tide in the housing market is going out, all the junk is showing up on the beach.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.