The Mortgage Fraud Index was released this week by the publication Mortgage Daily and it confirms what previous reports have shown. Despite a five-year low in legal actions for mortgage fraud nationwide, such actions actually rose in Florida in the last quarter of 2012. According to the index, Florida saw a rise in these actions and once again was the nation’s leader in claims for mortgage fraud. In the fourth quarter alone, there were $246.9 million worth of mortgage fraud cases in this state. California placed a distant second, more than $50 million behind. Florida made up nearly one-fifth of all mortgage fraud cases throughout the United States during that time period.

Early indicators show that the reduction in mortgage fraud claims may also be at end throughout the country. Some experts suggest that the improving real estate market will likewise offer expanded opportunities for fraudulent transactions. With prosecutors and investigators now well-versed in pursuing potentially fraudulent mortgage activity, prosecutions will likely remain a common sight in criminal courts.

While no final numbers have been released, the first quarter of 2013 does seem to show an increase in the number or mortgage fraud cases reported by law enforcement. Anyone suspected of mortgage fraud or who believes they are under investigation for such conduct should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, “Florida leads nation in mortgage fraud,” by Brian Bandell, 8 April 2013

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