Nevada tops the nation in mortgage fraud risk, while five of the six New England states have experienced the largest changes in mortgage fraud risk between 2010 and 2011, according to the annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report published by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Interthinx.
Nevada led Interthinx' risk index value, at 245, which is 99 points higher than the national mortgage fraud risk index of 146. High fraud risk, which is particularly associated with foreclosure and short-sale schemes, contributed to Nevada's retaining its position as the state with the highest mortgage fraud risk in the country for the third consecutive year.
On the East Coast, New England saw dramatic changes in mortgage fraud levels: Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are among the four states with the largest mortgage fraud risk decreases, while Vermont and Connecticut both experienced large increases in fraud risk. Only Maine, which remained in the five lowest-risk states, saw no upheaval in its fraud risk. Interthinx attributes the regional dichotomy to the ‘movement of fraudsters between neighboring regions as they identify areas ripe for exploitation.’
Interthinx also reports that its Employment/Income Fraud Risk Index rose 14% during 2011, continuing an upward trend for more than two years, for a total increase of more than 45%. The company warns that its Employment/Income Fraud Risk Index is particularly high for investor loans, with an index of 310, which is almost three times the overall index value of 111 and is highest for high-value properties.
The full report is available online.Â