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Although national mortgage fraud risk is on the decline, Florida is showing signs of increased fraud risk, according to new data released by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Interthinx.

In the latest quarterly release of its Mortgage Fraud Risk Report, Interthinx finds that the overall mortgage fraud risk nationwide has decreased by nearly 8% to the lowest value observed in the past two years. However, significantly increased levels of fraud risk in Florida pushed it past Nevada and into the top spot for overall fraud risk. Florida also appears on three of the four type-specific top 10 riskiest lists during the third quarter, with a particular concern that Sunshine State investment purchases have more than three times the level of employment/income fraud risk than purchases for primary residences. 

Currently, Florida has 17 metropolitan statistical areas classified by Interthinx as "very high risk." Nevada and Arizona follow on the list of states with the highest fraud risk. Among major markets, Iowa City, Iowa, leads the nation in identity fraud risk, while California cities took six of the top 10 spots for riskiest metros for mortgage fraud.

"The report shows that even when overall fraud risk is decreasing nationwide, there are still areas of concern, as we see with this quarter's findings in Florida," says Mike Zwerner, senior vice president of Interthinx. "The report's actionable intelligence helps lenders pinpoint where additional due diligence may be needed, improves loan quality, reduces repurchase risk and ultimately helps the economy recover."

Interthinx' full report is now online.


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