Updated March 29 at 12:28am

R.I. is 5th-highest for mortgage fraud investigations


ATLANTA - Rhode Island had the fifth-highest Mortgage Fraud Index rating in 2011 for fraud investigations, according to LexisNexis’ 14th Annual Mortgage Fraud Report.

The annual report, formerly known as the Mortgage Asset Research Institute Report, analyzes the current state of subscriber-verified residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation in the United States committed by industry professionals.

All figures are based on data submitted by LexisNexis Mortgage Industry Data Exchange subscribers.

LexixNexis uses MIDEX submissions to develop statistics on a range of mortgage fraud and misrepresentation characteristics. The Mortgage Fraud Index ranks states on the incidence of fraud, both in terms of fraud investigations and loan originations.

The Ocean State, which had an MFI score of 182 in 2011, earned the slot for the fifth-most incidents of fraud investigation in the U.S., up from the No. 11 slot and a MFI score of 68 in 2010.

Comparatively, Florida headed the list as the state with the highest MFI, with a score of 766. Florida was followed by Nevada, Arizona and Michigan with scores of 290, 214 and 188, respectively.

In mortgage originations, New Jersey and Colorado topped the list, which only listed the states with the 10th-most incidents. Rhode Island was not listed.

“Increased levels of fraud and misrepresentation in the foreclosure, short sale and real estate-owned worlds have pushed the issue of collusion to the forefront,” Tom Brown, the senior vice president of financial services for LexisNexis said in a statement.

“Now, more than ever before, these complex schemes are coming under increased scrutiny and investigators need to pay attention to all parties and relationships in non-arm’s length transactions,” added Brown. “Data alone is not enough to identify fraud. It’s the application of linking technologies and analysis that shines a light on collusion and fraud in general.”

For the full report, click here.


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