In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Treasury: Mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports increased in Q2, Most occurred during bubble

by Calculated Risk on 9/28/2011 09:31:00 PM

From Treasury: Second Quarter Mortgage Loan Fraud Suspicious Activity Persists

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today reported in its Second Quarter 2011 Analysis of mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) that financial institutions filed 29,558 MLF SARs in the second quarter of 2011 up from 15,727 MLF SARs reported in the same quarter of 2010.

A large majority of the MLF SARs examined in the second quarter involved mortgages closed during the height of the real estate bubble. The upward spike in second quarter MLF SAR numbers is directly attributable to mortgage repurchase demands and special filings generated by several institutions. For instance, FinCEN noted that 81 percent of the MLF SARs filed during the quarter involved suspicious activities that occurred before 2008; 63 percent involved suspicious activities that occurred four or more years ago.

"We're continuing to see a large number of SARs filed on activity that occurred more than two years ago, an indication that financial institutions are uncovering fraud as they sift through defaulted mortgages," said FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr.
The most common mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity was the misrepresentation of income, occupancy, debts, or assets (about 30%). Some of the more current frauds are related to debt elimination and short sale fraud (unfortunately attempted short sale fraud is very common).

FinCEN has some Mortgage Fraud SAR Datasets breaking down the data by state, MSA and county. California was #1 in Q2 (Nevada or Florida have usually been #1). San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA was the #1 MSA.

And in a related story from the AP: Santa Rosa Hells Angels leaders indicted on loan fraud. This involved a mortgage broker and false statement of income and assets to buy marijuana "grow houses". Oh my ...