Foreclosure scams are up 58 percent, according to the latest data from the LexisNexis 15th Annual Mortgage Fraud Report, and the state with the dubious distinction of being tops in mortgage fraud investigations has held its lead for five years running.
The Worst 10 are based on total investigations in 2012 for mortgage frauds originating in any year. The worst five metro areas are based on investigations involving only mortgages originated last year. Because fraud is often discovered more than 12 months after it occurs, that calculation can show where fraud is trending.
The Mortgage Fraud Index (MFI) is based on the ratio of the number of loan originations and the number of fraud investigations in each state compared with those numbers nationwide. An MFI of 100 is the "expected" rate of fraud in the state based on national rates.
By Celia Watson Seupel, Special to CNBC
Posted 3 Oct. 2013
CNBC follows the money trail in search of the most wanted white-collar fugitives."American Greed: The Fugitives" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.