April, 2012

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 82

THE LATEST SERVICING FBI Reports Upticks in Suspicious Mortgage Activity Revealing numbers from last year, the government bureau says mortgage fraud is on the rise. M Housing Confidence Up Nationwide The lending environment hopes to sustain improvements as Americans report rising sentiments on the housing market. M ore Americans feel confident about their household finances, the housing recovery, and the prospect of an economic upturn, Fannie Mae announced recently. The mortgage giant drew on poll data from some 1,000 respondents to sketch a blend of guardedness and hopefulness in a National Housing Report. The results? Thirty-five percent of Americans now believe the economy is on the right track, an increase from 19 percent in November, compared with 57 percent who still feel damp about the state of recovery. Fewer respondents fielded lay- off concerns. Seventy-six percent of Americans say they do not feel concerned about job loss, up from 70 percent in November. "The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market," Doug Duncan, VP and chief economist with Fannie Mae, said in a statement. When it came to housing, respondents anticipate that home prices will inch forward by 0.8 percent over the next 12 months, while 28 percent believe figures for the same will increase and 15 percent expect more declines. Ten percent of respondents believe that mortgage rates will continue to fall further, reflecting a 2 percent increase from January. The number of Americans who believe it is a good time to sell their homes climbed to 13 percent, up 3 percentage points from the past period. Duncan said the developments create a "more balanced near-term outlook" for the economy—a shift from the doom-and-gloom proph- esied by many analysts last fall. THE M REPORT | 49 ortgage fraud caseload rose last year as federal insurers reported more suspicious activity, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The agency reported recently that suspicious activity reports (SARs) ascended from 70,533 in 2010 to 93,508 last year, a shift that reportedly helped FBI investigators land 1,223 indict- ments and 1,082 convictions for mortgage fraud last year. The FBI touted big payouts for victims in a report that found $1.38 billion in restitutions, $116.3 million in fines, and seizures worth roughly $15.7 million from last year. Pending cases for mortgage fraud meanwhile fell from a new high of 3,129 two years ago to 2,691 in 2011, while damages in fraud-related SARs stepped down from $3,238 in 2010 to $3,029 last year. Personnel rose with demand, as the FBI said that it more than doubled agents on payroll to 325 last year, up from 120 in 2007. The agency said that pend- ing mortgage fraud cases fell as originations overall reached their lowest level since the early 2000s. It reported that distressed homeowner fraud had taken over from mortgage origination fraud as the primary source of problems for the agency. ORIGINATION SERVICING ANALYTICS SECONDARY MARKET

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - April, 2012