Mortgage Fraud Reports Rise Sharply

mortgage fraud

Years have passed since the housing crisis first brought the U.S. economy to the brink, but reports of mortgage fraud are only increasing -- up 31 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury bureau that tracks illegal financial activity.

In a report released Tuesday, FinCEN said that it had received 25,485 suspicious-activity reports regarding mortgage loan fraud in the January-March period, up from 19,420 in the first quarter of 2010.

That's not to say that there were more instances of mortgage fraud in 2011's first quarter. Most of the tips FinCEN received had to do with what the report calls "increasingly dated activities" -- incidents that happened in 2006 and 2007, during the housing boom, and that are only now being reported.

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For more on how you can avoid becoming the victim of mortgage fraud, see these AOL Real Estate guides:

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