Mortgage fraud-related Suspicious Activity Reports referred to law enforcement increased 36% to 63,713 during 2008, compared to 46,717 reports in 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report.
While the total dollar loss attributed to mortgage fraud is unknown, financial institutions reported losses of at least $1.4 billion, an increase of 83.4% from 2007. The report showed that more than 3.1 million foreclosure filings were reported on approximately 2.3 million properties nationally during 2008, up 81% from 2007 and 225% from 2006. As of 2008, the Western region of the U.S. had the most pending FBI mortgage fraud-related investigations.
According to the FBI’s report, the top 10 mortgage fraud states for 2008 were California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Florida, Missouri and New York. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia were newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems.