The ""Financial Crimes Enforcement Network"":http://www.fincen.gov (FinCEN) said this week that suspicious activity reports (SARs) indicating mortgage loan fraud (MLF) increased seven percent in the first half of 2010.[IMAGE]
Banks and thrifts filed 35,135 mortgage-related SARs from January to June 2010, up from 32,926 in 2009 during the same period.[COLUMN_BREAK]
SARs are one of the most valuable sources for identifying mortgage fraud, according to FinCEN director James H. Freis, Jr.
Also in the report were findings that SARs referencing bankruptcy increased 7 percent in 2010, reports referencing short sale appeared 827 times, and SARs referencing broker price opinion appeared 41 times during the first quarter of 2010.
The information was compiled with the data from two reports titled Mortgage Loan Fraud SAR Filings, which cover three months each.
According to FinCEN, at least part of the increase can be attributed to increased attention to older loans. From January to March 2010, 78 percent of SARs involved loans more than two years old.
Last week FinCEN ""proposed"":http://dsnews.comarticles/fincen-proposes-new-regulation-for-non-bank-lenders-and-originators-2010-12-06 legislation that would require non-bank residential mortgage lenders and originators to establish anti-money-laundering programs and to file reports when suspicious activity is suspected.