VIENNA, Va. (3/29/11)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Monday released its new report, “Mortgage Loan Fraud SAR Filings In Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2010,” revealing the year’s experience with a 4% increase in suspicious activity reports (SAR) involving mortgage loan fraud (MLF SARs). In 2010, according to the report, 70,472 mortgage loan-related SARs were filed, compared with 67,507 in 2009. However, the report also shows that the growth rate of MLF SARs has slowed over the past two to three years. In fact, looking at just the 2010 fourth quarter, filers submitted 18,759 MLF SARs, which is a 1% decrease from the 18,884 filings over the same period in 2009. The FinCEN data also indicate a steady increase over time in the number of references to bankruptcy contained in the MLF SARs. In 2010, mortgage loan fraud was cited in 54% of all SARs referencing bankruptcy fraud, up from 42% in 2009. Some MLF SARs specified the type of bankruptcy filing, most frequently Chapter 7, which was cited in 27% of 2010 reports citing both bankruptcy and MLF. Also of interest: There was a decline in 2010 of all types of SARs filed by depository institutions; they fell 3% to 697,389 compared with 720,309 in 2009. And yet, the total number of SARs filed in 2010 by all types of financial institutions covered by the Bank Secrecy Act grew nearly 4%, the report said. FinCEN also announced it has reorganized its Web page on mortgage fraud and added a section that includes state, urban and county mortgage fraud SAR data. Use the resource link below for more information.