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Mortgage Fraud Reports Jump 42% in US, MARI Finds


RESTON, Va.– Reported incidents of mortgage fraud in the U.S. increased by 42 percent in the first quarter of 2008 from a year ago, according to a new report released today by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARISM), a ChoicePoint® (NYSE: CPS) company. The report is based on data submitted by MARI subscribers about loans that were originated in the first quarter of this year and have since been classified as fraudulent.

Florida continues to lead all states in mortgage fraud, according to the “MARI Quarterly Fraud Report” on the current state of residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation in the United States. In fact, Florida accounted for 24 percent of all properties with material misrepresentation submitted by MARI subscribers for loans originated during the first quarter of 2008.

California is second in the first quarter 2008 mortgage fraud rankings, followed by a three-way tie for third place among Illinois, Maryland and Michigan.

For all states, the top fraud incident type was in “General Application Misrepresentation” followed closely by misrepresentations related to “Income” and “Employment.” In addition, MARI continues to see multiple fraud types, such as identity theft and identity fraud, in loan transactions.

MARI provides valuable industry insight derived from its Mortgage Industry Data Exchange (MIDEX) database, which contains an aggregation of reported incidents of fraud and verified misrepresentations submitted by leading mortgage industry participants. MARI analyzes this industry data and presents reports that depict a national composition of residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation to support the industry’s effort in the fight against mortgage fraud.

The new MARI Quarterly Fraud Report is intended to provide more timely information to help the industry in its efforts to reduce or prevent mortgage fraud.

“The mortgage industry is currently in a volatile state, as many constituents try to protect themselves from criminals who continue to use these turbulent times as an opportunity to commit new fraud and inflict additional financial damage for our nation’s lenders,” according to the MARI Quarterly Fraud Report.

A MARI Loan Fraud Alert Service Pro (LFAS Pro), a new industry-contributed mortgage loan process management database with patent-pending technology, enables lenders and investors to identify potential application risk, patterns of fraud and hidden relationships among parties involved in mortgage transactions. MIDEX and LFAS Pro are key components of ChoicePoint’s comprehensive Identity Risk Management (IRM) solutions for the mortgage industry. ChoicePoint’s IRM solutions help mitigate fraud by allowing organizations to better know their customers, employees and vendors on the front and back ends of the loan process.

The MARI Quarterly Fraud Report is available on MARI’s Web site at


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