Mortgage and real estate fraud enforcement has increasingly become a priority for state and federal authorities. Some of this might be due to the publicity these types of crimes received after the mortgage crisis. Florida has received some of this media attention, as the state is seen as being a center for mortgage fraud crimes. This perception could increase following a recent report on mortgage fraud.
The report was made by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This report tracked the number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) regarding mortgages that were made throughout the United States. The report covered the third quarter of 2010.
This report indicated that Florida had a very high occurrence of suspicious mortgage activity in 2010’s third quarter. Florida made over 5,000 SARs regarding mortgages over this time. Only one state, California, topped Florida in this regard. Florida SARs accounted for nearly a third of the SARs made in the entire country.
The report also pointed to South Florida as a potential high-fraud area. Over half of the SARs from Florida came from three South Florida counties: Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade. Additionally, Miami-Dade County was reported to have the second highest number of mortgage SARs of any county in the U.S.
It is conceivable that reports like this could impact fraud enforcement in Florida and South Florida. If federal and state authorities perceive that a certain region is experiencing high occurrences of specific types of white collar crimes, this may lead to an increase in enforcement regarding these offenses.
This report paints Florida and South Florida as being centers of suspected mortgage fraud activity. Thus, one wonders if reports like this will lead to increased mortgage fraud enforcement in South Florida and Florida.
Source: The Miami Herald, “South Florida’s still a national leader in mortgage fraud,” Toluse Olorunnipa, 7 Jan 2011