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Reports of mortgage fraud spike

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

The deeper the banks go to uncover faulty or fraudulent mortgage transactions conducted during the housing boom, the uglier it gets. Accounts of mortgage fraud skyrocketed by 88 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a report from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department, the agency in charge of enforcing laws requiring banks to report fraud.

As buyers of mortgage-backed securities bury the banks in lawsuits to recoup losses from failed loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, financial institutions have had to dig through mortgage paperwork to uncover wrongdoing. Boy, are they finding it. In the second quarter of 2010, there were 15,727 tips about possible mortgage fraud, compared with 29,558 in the second quarter of this year.

The majority of tips during the second quarter (81 percent) were related to mortgages that closed before 2008, prior to the recession and the housing crash.

The most common fraud was related to false statements about income, home occupancy, or debts and assets. The states with the most reported fraud were California, Florida, Nevada and Illinois, according to the report.

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6 Comments
Gena Sullivan
October 04, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Fraud for sure but not by me, Citibank. I have a complicated situation and that was not Citi's fault. What was the fault of Citibank was simply to not allow me to either refinance or pay int and taxes without principal. I learned I had to sell one month after I purchased a new condo due to (divorce, contempt of court, etc.) My children's college funds were taken. The condo assos. was then suing the builder and I foolishly thought it would be settled. I kept paying condo fees, condo legal fees, kids college, more than my mortage ea mo, but it was now 3 years later and could no longer continue. I hoped for help from Citi. I was told to stop paying and a deed in lieu was offered. I then was instructed to sell for 50,000 more than I owed, and then the HAMP offer. By then (a yr later), I had to accept and paid for 4 months. Papers never received, the list is endless. Finally a independent underwriter hired by Citi told me I was lied to. They had all my information multiple times, I lost my credit, a job, and now am 64. I walked away after finally being told that it would be a deed in lieu after 2 years. Well it was not. Their goal was to keep increasing my debt as long as possible. No agency helped, even politicians that I contacted. They just bought it for exactly what I owed after destroying everything I worked for. It was the President's plan, but no one was watching. I lost about $100,000.00. I was in a state where they did not sue me for the property. I could have sold it for what they bought it for but they would not allow it. (Well that is what I was told and foolishly believed them.

colleen billups
October 04, 2011 at 10:34 am

I completely agree with you Diane! The way this economy is as long as people are paying their bills they should let these requirements go. Why would they take houses from people who are paying their bills?

Diane Vidal
October 02, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Can't believe our government is letting the banks get away with what they are and how they pretty much put us here in the first place, and believe me, I'm putting it VERY nicely!!!! Are they just going to let everybody keep losing their houses? HELLO!!!!