The newly released Interthinx Mortgage Fraud Risk Report for the third quarter of 2009 reveals a surge of more than 11 percent in the overall Mortgage Fraud Risk Index from last quarter. The most striking trend over the past year is the increasing geographic concentration of mortgage fraud risk. Despite relatively small variations on the national scale, the Index range from the lowest to the highest risk state has widened considerably, from 100 to 215. Thus the riskiest states are now much more risky than a year ago and the least risky states are much less risky than a year ago. The states with the highest overall levels of mortgage fraud risk correspond closely to the states with the highest levels of foreclosure activity, consistent with the increase in foreclosure-related fraud schemes observed in the Q2 2009 Interthinx Mortgage Fraud Risk Report. • Nevada continues to have the highest mortgage fraud risk, with an Index value of 251. • California, which contains seven of the 10 riskiest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), still has the next highest Index value, now at 232. California’s Index increased by 72 from a year ago, representing the largest one-year increase in the Index for any state. The highest risk counties were previously confined to the state’s inland region but the risk has now spread to many coastal counties as well. • Arizona and Florida rank third and fourth in the Index, with values of 220 and 182, respectively. For a full copy of the Q3 Interthinx Mortgage Fraud Risk Report, click here.