Despite Decline in Fraud Levels, Some States Still Suffer

Julie C. Nichols General

M Report – Tory Barringer

While Florida, Nevada, and California are some of the most commonly cited examples of states hit hard by the housing implosion, an analysis of fraud data submitted to LexisNexis’ Mortgage Industry Data Exchange (MIDEX) shows New Jersey might have taken the worst impact. In its 15th Annual Mortgage Fraud Report, LexisNexis Risk Solutions put a spotlight on three economic indicators: mortgage fraud and misrepresentation involving industry professionals, potential collusion activity, and volume of properties in default. Together, the three indicators show the full extent of the damage caused over the last few years by the housing market’s crash, the company says. Looking at mortgage loan fraud levels, researchers at LexisNexis determined that most states have seen fraud fall to normal levels since 2008, though the fallout from prior years continues to build. For example, Florida ranked No. 1 for fraud activity under investigation in 2012 with an index value of 805—more than eight times the expected level of fraud given the state’s origination activity. However, when originations before 2012 were removed, the Sunshine State’s index fell to 169.

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