The Mortgage Fraud Index from has fallen 69 percent over the past year to the lowest level since early 2008, while the dollar volume of associated loans was off by more than half. But the lull might only be temporary.

The Mortgage Fraud Index was 814 in the fourth-quarter, falling from 2634 a year earlier. The index — which reflects both the number and dollar volume of cases tracked by the mortgage fraud blog — reached its lowest point since the first-quarter 2008’s 713.

The dollar volume of mortgages tied to the criminal and civil cases dropped to a three-year low of $0.9 billion.

The drop reflected a 36 percent annual contraction in the number of cases that saw activity during the period.

Index by Quarter

Period Index Amount # Cases
Q4 2010 814 $867,318,214 126
Q3 2010 1007 $1,850,531,120 151
Q4 2009 2634 $1,922,002,499 197

“The decline in the Mortgage Fraud Index itself, as well as a drop in the number of cases and lower dollar volume, followed the Department of Justice’s launch of Operation Broken Trust,” Mortgage Daily Founder and Publisher Sam Garcia said. “The activity suggests that some resources might have been diverted from prosecution of real estate crimes.”

California moved from No. 2 in the previous report to No. 1 — trading positions with Florida. New York maintained its top-three standing.

Top States by Index

State Index
California 93
Florida 73
New York 73
Pennsylvania 60
Virginia 60

Virginia, which did not rank in the top five during the third-quarter, ranked at least fifth in both categories this time around. The state’s dollar volume more than tripled from the prior quarter.

Top States by Amount

State Amount
California $205,366,515
New York $122,249,646
Pennsylvania $105,144,929
Virginia $69,675,970
Florida $59,896,409

The volume of case activity has recently risen based on recent entries — suggesting the upcoming first-quarter 2011 index could increase.

Full Mortgage Fraud Index report:

Mortgage Fraud News:

Mortgage fraud Blog:


Founded in 1998, provides online mortgage news and analysis for the mortgage industry. More than 30,000 people visit each month.

Holly Himelright
3811-700 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75219

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