Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

FBI: Beware of mortgage fraud

The federal law enforcement agency says reports of 'suspicious' mortgage activity could hit 70,000 this year.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

When do you expect to have your student loans paid off?
  • 3-5 years
  • 6-10 years
  • More than 10 years
  • I don't have any
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.79%
15 yr fixed 3.15%
5/1 ARM 3.43%
30 yr refi 3.76%
15 yr refi 3.13%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- FBI officials Tuesday disclosed complaints of mortgage fraud are piling up at record levels this year, and appear certain to shatter last year's record.

Financial institutions received 33,359 "suspicious activity reports" through the first six months of the current fiscal year, which ended April 30, compared with 46,717 for the entire previous year, the FBI said.

"We could be headed for 70,000 for this year," said FBI spokesman Stephen Kodak, who acknowledged the increased complaints to be among the reasons FBI Director Robert Mueller predicted last month the mortgage fraud problem will get worse this year.

The new volume of formal complaints buttresses Mueller's public warning that "as housing prices continue to fall, more financial misdeeds will no doubt come to light."

Integrity needed: In a speech in April to the American Bar Association, Mueller called for a "culture of integrity" to combat rampant corporate fraud and other white collar crime.

He said the FBI is investigating more than 1,300 mortgage fraud cases, including 19 that involve potential crimes by corporate entities.

The FBI Tuesday also released its finalized mortgage fraud report for fiscal year 2007, which ended October 31. It showed mortgage fraud investigations increased by 47% over the previous year.

Fraud hotspots: The report also showed the 10 "hot spots" for mortgage fraud last year were generally states where real estate prices had soared most during the early 1990s.

Those hot-spot states, in order, were: Florida, Georgia, Michigan, California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, New York, Colorado, and Minnesota.

The report also identified 10 "other states significantly affected by mortgage fraud": Arizona, Maryland, Utah, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut. To top of page

Find mortgage rates in your area


Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
11 tasty treats to bring back from a business trip Nothing is as crowd-pleasing or pragmatic as edible souvenirs. We've found foodie gifts that are both delicious and distinguished in 11 popular business destinations. More
15 women who founded $1 billion startups Meet 15 women behind some of the world's hottest startups. More
Here are 27 ads Russian trolls bought on Facebook and Instagram The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released some of the ads a Russian troll farm purchased on Facebook and Instagram during and after the U.S. presidential election. More