Ernst Publishing Company has released the results of a title industry survey, revealing thoughts and perceptions held by industry insiders regarding mortgage fraud. The survey touched about 9,000 industry participants, many of whom provided detailed answers. About 40 percent of respondents felt that fraud in real estate transactions had increased in the last year, while the respondents were evenly divided on the topic of which type of fraud they were most concerned about. Among the choices: Robo-signing, identity theft, integrity of the record, fraud within the loan transaction, and foreclosure fraud.
“It’s clear that lenders are viewing mortgage fraud as a very serious issue and a growing problem,” said Jan Clark, senior vice president of Ernst Publishing Company. “We discussed the results with members of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), and while our survey revealed that about half of respondents don’t believe a national recording system wouldn’t have any impact on fraudulent practices, the idea of a national registry provoked quite a debate.”
The survey also revealed a lukewarm response to whether or not the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) changes to the HUD and GFE had helped to mitigate fraud, with approximately 20 percent saying they believed the new rules had a positive impact. Respondents felt that additional steps to combat fraud would be to improve technology solutions, increase notary responsibility, and further certifications for title agents and loan officers.