The Mortgage Fraud Index tracks the total number of local, state and federal prosecutions for mortgage fraud nationwide. The numbers for the first quarter of 2013 are in. The first quarter saw a 16 percent increase in mortgage fraud cases from the final quarter of 2012. The increase was short-term however, as the numbers are still down from the first quarter of last year. In total, 125 mortgage fraud cases were prosecuted all across the nation in the first quarter of this year.

The number one state in terms of prosecutions was California. That is a change from the fourth quarter of last year, when Florida was the state where the most mortgage fraud cases were prosecuted. California and Florida placed second and third, respectively, in terms of the total dollar amount involved in the mortgage fraud cases. Pennsylvania had the largest amount, largely due to a single case involving more than $100 million in fraudulent home loans.

2012 saw billions of dollars in mortgage fraud cases brought against people from all over the nation. Buyers, lenders, agents and others involved in real estate transactions have seen a spike in the effort put forth by prosecutors to identify fraud. Those charged face massive fines and potentially lengthy jail sentences.

Source: MortgageOrb, “Mortgage Fraud Increases in Q1, But Down Overall,” 17 June 2013

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