The Obama administration's efforts to prosecute mortgage crimes pushed the number of active mortgage fraud cases higher in the second quarter, according to statistics published by MortgageDaily.com and based on activity tracked at FraudBlooger.com. The second-quarter 2010 fraud index was 1699, researchers say – higher than the prior quarter's 1144 and elevated from the level seen one year earlier.
The highest level for the FraudBlogger.com index was 2790, which was registered in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The index reflects both the number and dollar amount of active mortgage fraud cases. The total number of mortgage fraud cases grew from 172 in the first quarter of the year to 266 in the second quarter, MortgageDaily.com reports. The dollar amount associated with the cases rose from $1.92 billion to nearly $2.25 billion.
The latest index was impacted by a surge in active cases as the administration's Operation Stolen Dreams targeted mortgage fraud activity. In June, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that Operation Stolen Dreams led to 191 civil enforcement actions since March.
On a state-by-state basis, California had the highest fraud index, at 283. Cases in the Golden State involved around $436 million in mortgages, MortgageDaily.com says.