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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

FBI sees double the Suspicious Activity Reports

August 15, 2005 | 3:49 pm | |


The Federal Bureau of Investigation received more than double the number of mortgage-related “suspicious activity reports” from 2003 to 2004.

Common mortgage fraud schemes include:

  • Property Flipping – Property is purchased, falsely appraised at a higher value, and then quickly sold.
  • Inflated Appraisals – An appraiser acts in collusion with a borrower and provides a misleading appraisal report to the lender. The report inaccurately states an inflated property value.

Mortgage fraud indicators include:

  • Inflated Appraisals – Exclusive use of one appraiser
  • Increased Commissions/Bonuses – Bonuses paid (outside or at settlement) for fee-based services and/ or higher than customary fees

Mortgage fraud is growing and moving from cities to more rural areas and appraisals using fraudelent information is an important component.

If you look at what causes fraud, it’s a case of economics,” said Bill Matthews, vice president of Reston, Va.-based Mortgage Asset Research Institute, “If you have a frothy market it causes fraud to go undetected.”

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Mortgage fraud huge in Florida, FBI report says

August 8, 2005 | 10:41 am | |

Florida’s red-hot real estate market may have a serious downside.

“Research shows that one-third to one-half of appraisals are overpriced, and the problem is endemic in Florida,” says John Taylor, president and chief executive of the Washington, D.C. based National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“It’s like a time bomb,” says Alan Hummel, government relations chairman for the Appraisal Institute and an appraiser in Des Moines, Iowa. “There is so much out there, but we don’t find out about it until down the road when property owners start having problems.”

Lack of structure and accountability in the valuation process promotes fraud.

When you have a lending system where the appraisal process is not treated as a “sacred activity,” where the results are respected, believed and followed, then money talks and lenders find appraisers who will play the game.

It’s just that simple.

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