| The growing prevalence of mortgage loan
fraud is being met by greater success on the part of
the financial community at intercepting the fraud
before loans are funded. A Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network (FinCEN) report said the number
of suspicious activity reports (SARs) relating to
mortgage fraud increased 42% from 37,313 in 2006 to
52,868 in 2007 (FinCEN’s year-over-year data is
tracked from April 1 through March 31).
In the same period, the suspected fraud was
detected prior to loan funding in 31% of all cases
resulting in SARs, up from 21% the previous
year—an increase of almost 50%.
exemplifies how compliance with Bank Secrecy Act
regulations is consistent with a financial
institution’s commercial concerns,” said FinCEN
Director James Freis in a press release.
The most common type of mortgage fraud was
misrepresentation of income, assets and debt
(43%). Identity theft in conjunction with mortgage
fraud, though a small portion of all cases of
mortgage fraud (3.45%), increased 96% in 2007.
The report, Mortgage Loan Fraud ,
is available at www.fincen.gov/MortgageLoanFraudSARAssessment.pdf