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Mortgage-fraud SARs increase in 2011 3Q
WASHINGTON (3/6/12)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Monday reported that the 19,934 Mortgage Loan Fraud (MLF) suspicious activity reports (SAR) filed during the third quarter of 2011 represented a 20% increase above 2010's third quarter total. MLF SARs accounted for 10% of all SARs filed during the quarter, according to FinCEN.

The FinCEN update also reported that 5,728 of the MLF SARs filed in the third quarter--29% of the total--reported activity that occurred between October 2009 and September 2011. Some of the types of suspicious activity reported included: some form of loan workout or debt elimination attempt, questionable refinance or loan modification attempts by borrowers or others targeting distressed homeowners, and Social Security number discrepancies submitted in the original loan application and the workout request.

FinCEN Director James Freis said "criminals persist in their efforts to prey on struggling homeowners" and financial institutions continue to uncover apparent fraud as they work through their portfolios of earlier mortgages now in default."

More than 85% of the mortgage-related reports involved sums under $500,000. Hawaii, California, Nevada, Florida, and Delaware had the highest amounts of SAR filings, per capita.

For the full FinCEN report, use the resource link.
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