Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mortgage fraud rising fast, FBI says

WASHINGTON — The sinking housing market is fertile ground for mortgage fraud, the FBI warns in a new report.

The agency said Tuesday that reports of suspected mortgage fraud rose 31 percent to 46,717 in fiscal 2007, which ended Sept. 30, up from 35,617 in the previous fiscal year.

In the first half of fiscal 2008, there were more than 33,000 such reports, quickening the pace of mortgage fraud for this fiscal year, an FBI spokesman said.

Last month, the Treasury Department, which uses the calendar year to tally reports, put the mortgage fraud damage for 2007 at nearly 53,000, a 42 percent jump.

Earlier this year, the industry-funded Mortgage Asset Research Institute said Florida led the led the nation in mortgage fraud in 2007 for the second straight year, followed by Nevada, Michigan, California, Utah and Georgia.

The FBI said that mortgage fraud losses in fiscal 2007 totaled more than $813-million, though only 7 percent of "suspicious activity" reports detailed the loss in dollars.

That number "is just the tip of the iceberg, reflecting only a small percentage of financial damage suffered by victims of mortgage fraud," said Kenneth Kaiser, the FBI's assistant director in charge of the bureau's criminal investigations division.

Common types of mortgage fraud are misrepresentation of income or assets, forged documents, misrepresentation of a borrowers' intent to occupy a property and inflated appraisals.

The depressed housing market provides an "ideal climate" for perpetrators of fraud, the FBI report said, adding that identify theft, particularly targeting borrowers with good credit, is likely to increase. It also warned of other scams, promoted as foreclosure rescues.

The FBI is investigating more than 1,300 mortgage fraud cases and conducting 19 corporate investigations linked to the subprime lending crisis. Federal authorities have formed a task force, headed by prosecutors in New York, to determine if lenders or Wall Street firms participated in fraud.

Comments

Clean Juice gets 3rd spot in Hyde Park Village

Michelle Piniella forecast about another South Tampa Clean Juice location in March, and now itís official. The healthy, fresh juice concept has secured a lease with Hyde Park Village.The opening date is to be announced this summer as it is currently ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

DOWNTOWN ó Felicia Lacalle says cuban cooking is in her blood as she traditionally learned from her mother growing up. Since then she has perfected her craft finding ways to recreate classic dishes with a modern twist and now she aims to change the C...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Discover the world of buttons, load up on plants at the Green Thumb Festival and join the Fashion Revolution

Discover the world of buttons, load up on plants at the Green Thumb Festival and join the Fashion Revolution

COLLECT HISTORY: BUTTON CLUB SWAP AND SHOPButtons are a fascinating way to explore history, so much so that buttons are in collections of museums including the Smithsonian. Not only do they reflect changing fashions and innovations in materials, like...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 27

Waitress: The Broadway hit musical based on Adrienne Shelleyís film follows Jenna, a waitress stuck in a bad marriage and a small town. 8 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45-$128. (8...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: The Corcoran-Trump Twitter connection; Florida near top of hit-and-run fatalities; and more

Top 5 at noon: The Corcoran-Trump Twitter connection; Florida near top of hit-and-run fatalities; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:RICHARD CORCORAN IS TRYING TO GET DONALD TRUMPíS ATTENTION ON TWITTERMuch of House Speaker Richard Corcoranís April Twitter activity seems aimed at one person: President Donald Trump. The Rep...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week's best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

Want to see some live music?
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Ballard drops client with reported ties to Assad

Ballard drops client with reported ties to Assad

WASHINGTON – Brian Ballard's firm dropped a client that had been linked to the Assad regime, saying it is focused on another client that promotes "a free and democratic Syria."The issue arose in a Daily Beast report on Wednesday. Ballard told t...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

Here's your free and cheap ideas for the weekend.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

The 12 years he spent in the Rays organization, and the seven seasons he was around the big-league team, mean the world to Alex Cobb.But Wednesday he wasn't in the mood for memories.After a third straight outing for his new Orioles team ended badly, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, study finds

Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, study finds

Florida is among the top three states with the highest per capita rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes, a new study published on Thursday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found.From 2006 to 2016, the organization examined hit-and-run crashes in...
Updated: 1 hour ago