Interthinx has released its quarterly Mortgage Fraud Risk Report, covering data collected in the first quarter of 2013. With the debut of its new interactive report, Interthinx has made major changes and enhancements to its Mortgage Fraud Risk Index. It is now possible to explore different views of meaningful data simply by clicking on the various elements of the online report. According to the most recent analysis, occupancy fraud risk nationwide increased 15 percent over the previous year.
Other notable findings in the report include the following:
California is the riskiest state, with a mortgage fraud risk index of 125. In addition to it being the riskiest state, California contains four of the top ten riskiest ZIP codes and fiveof the top ten riskiest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) - including the riskiest,Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta. Additionally, nine of the top ten riskiest MSAs for employment/income fraud risk are located there.
Four of the top ten riskiest ZIP codes in the country - including the riskiest, 60640 - are located in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet MSA.
Purchases have a higher fraud risk than refinances. This is primarily driven by a much higher occupancy fraud risk; the occupancy fraud risk index for purchases is 176 compared with 76 for refinances.
"Although occupancy fraud risk is up nationwide, different areas of the country are at risk for different types of fraud risk. With the continuing trend for mortgage fraud to 'head east,' states like Illinois and Ohio have shown increases in property valuation fraud risk," said Ashley Woodworth, Interthinx vice president of business development and corporate strategy. "Our new interactive report enables members of our industry to take different views of meaningful data to make more informed operating decisions."
"Clearly, this report illustrates that loan purpose is a pivotal factor in occupancy fraud risk. The higher occupancy fraud risk in purchases will become increasingly significant as the mortgage market changes in the coming months from a refinance-dominated market to a purchase-dominated market. This kind of deeper-dive analysis is what makes our report valuable and helps our clients shape internal initiatives to mitigate risk," added Jeff Moyer, president of Interthinx.
The Mortgage Fraud Risk Report is an Interthinx information offering created by an internal team of fraud experts. This is the sixteenth time Interthinx has released its quarterly report. The report provides deeper insight into current fraud trends through the analysis of more than 12 million loan applications amassed from the industry's use of the Interthinx FraudGUARD loan-level fraud detection tool.