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Mortgage fraud skyrockets; be wary if you're making any kind of mortgage deal

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a new report stating mortgage fraud is increasing dramatically. Consumers need to be aware of scams involving mortgages, according to an article by consumeraffairs.com.

The report describes a 176 percent leap in mortgage fraud investigations in the past five years. That includes a 47 percent increase of these investigations from 2006.

Scams include:
  • Builder-bailout schemes.
  • Foreclosure rescue frauds.
  • Identity theft.
  • Identity theft used to drain home equity.
  • Seller-assistance scams.
The top 10 hot spots nationwide for mortgage fraud in 2007, according to the FBI, were: Florida, Georgia, Michigan, California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, New York, Colorado, and Minnesota. The north-central region had the largest share of mortgage fraud, followed by the west and southeast regions.

For more information about mortgage fraud, see the FBI's Web page, Mortgage Fraud: New Analysis of a Rising Threat.

Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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