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Interthinx's FraudGUARD update stamps out occupancy fraud

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Mar 10, 2010

Interthinx has enhanced its flagship FraudGUARD product with new variances to help detect occupancy issues related to mortgage fraud. The changes come in response to a disturbing trend the company uncovered in its quarterly fraud risk reports. Occupancy fraud showed a slight quarter-over-quarter increase in the third-quarter 2009 report, which alerted the Interthinx product team to study issues including occupancy fraud, buy and bail schemes, straw buyers, risks associated with delinquency/default, and risks associated with increased home value. The introduction of the new variances, designed to help protect mortgage lenders from fraud and improve loan quality, is made possible by the unique FraudGUARD comparison of the borrower’s current residence to the subject property. Interthinx is a leading provider of proven risk mitigation, mortgage fraud prevention, and regulatory compliance tools for the mortgage industry. “We look very closely at the findings in the mortgage fraud risk reports,” stated Connie Wilson, executive vice president of Interthinx. “In the third-quarter report for 2009, the Occupancy Fraud Risk Index, which is closely correlated to schemes involving speculative investments, declined 30 percent from a year ago. However, a very slight increase over the last quarter—the first since fourth-quarter 2006—suggested that occupancy risk may be poised for a rebound. We decided to respond swiftly to this analysis with the new ability to compare subject properties to the current residences of borrowers within FraudGUARD. As it stands now, results from our fourth-quarter 2009 Mortgage Fraud Risk Report reveal a 16 percent rise in the Occupancy Fraud Risk Index. The magnitude of the quarter-on-quarter increase suggests that occupancy fraud risk may become a serious issue as continuing price declines and get-rich-quick schemes lure investors back into the market. FraudGUARD is ready to support lenders facing occupancy risk issues.” Using a borrower’s current address, FraudGUARD produces a data comparison that identifies renters that buy non owner-occupied properties and borrowers claiming owner occupancy on a subject property of lesser value than a currently owned property; both scenarios present a certain level of risk. The new variances will also help identify potential risks associated with increase in value of housing and the potential problems associated with the ability to qualify for the increased value. The new variances analyze all borrowers and are available to all FraudGUARD customers.   For more information, visit www.interthinx.com.  
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