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CoreLogic Reports a 37.2% National Year-Over-Year Increase in Mortgage Fraud Risk in Second Quarter of 2021

  • An estimated 0.83% of all mortgage applications contained fraud, about 1 in 120 applications
  • Investment properties accounted for the highest-risk applications

IRVINE, Calif., October 27, 2021—CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its latest Mortgage Fraud Report. The report shows a 37.2% year-over-year increase in fraud risk at the end of the second quarter of 2021, as measured by the CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index. The significant increase for mid-2021 follows a large drop seen in 2020 – a decrease driven mainly by the surge in traditionally low-risk refinances during the pandemic. The current risk level is similar to mid-2019.

During the second quarter of 2021, an estimated 0.83% of all mortgage applications contained fraud, about 1 in 120 applications. By comparison, in the second quarter of 2020, the estimate was 0.61%, or about 1 in 164 applications. Continued low mortgage rates and a record volume of refinances pushed the overall fraud risk down. However, risk in the purchase segment increased 6%, with investment properties driving the highest risk in both purchase and refinance populations.

“Refinance opportunities that surged lending volumes during the pandemic may be winding down. The outlook is for fewer low-risk refinances compared to purchases and cash-out refinances, which translates to a higher-risk environment for fraud,” said Ann Regan, executive, product management at CoreLogic.

Report Highlights:

  • Nationally, most fraud types showed increased risk. Transaction risk showed an increase of 34.2% year-over-year. Income and property fraud risk decreased slightly, aligning with the strong job market and home price growth.
  • The top five states for risk increases include: South Dakota, Washington, Alaska, Vermont and West Virginia. Less-populous states are more volatile due to lower levels of lending activity. These states all had below-average index values in 2020.
  • Nevada moved into the top position for mortgage application fraud risk, with New York, Hawaii, Florida, and California rounding out the top five. 

Figure 1: National Mortgage Origination Fraud Index (Q3 2010 – Q2 2021)

National Fraud Risk Index

The CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report analyzes the collective level of loan application fraud risk experienced in the mortgage industry each quarter. CoreLogic develops the index based on residential mortgage loan applications processed by CoreLogic LoanSafe Fraud Manager, a predictive scoring technology. The report includes detailed data for six fraud type indicators that complement the national index: identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction and undisclosed real estate debt.

To view the full CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report, visit www.corelogic.com/mortgagefraudreport.

Methodology

Our comprehensive fraud risk analysis is based on a lender-driven mortgage fraud consortium and leading predictive-scoring technology.

The CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index represents the collective level of fraud risk the mortgage industry is experiencing in each period, based on the share of loan applications with a high risk of fraud. The index is standardized to a baseline of 100 for the share of high-risk loan applications nationally in the third quarter of 2010.

The Fraud Type Indicators are based on specific CoreLogic LoanSafe Fraud Manager alerts.  These alerts are compiled consistently for all CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Consortium members. Indicator levels are based on the prevalence and predictive ability of the relevant alerts. An increase in the indicator correlates with increased risk of the corresponding fraud type.

Source: CoreLogic

The data provided is for use only by the primary recipient or the primary recipient’s publication or broadcast. This data may not be re-sold, republished or licensed to any other source, including publications and sources owned by the primary recipient’s parent company without prior written permission from CoreLogic. Any CoreLogic data used for publication or broadcast, in whole or in part, must be sourced as coming from CoreLogic, a data and analytics company. For use with broadcast or web content, the citation must directly accompany first reference of the data. If the data is illustrated with maps, charts, graphs or other visual elements, the CoreLogic logo must be included on screen or website. For questions, analysis or interpretation of the data contact Amy Brennan at newsmedia@corelogic.com. Data provided may not be modified without the prior written permission of CoreLogic. Do not use the data in any unlawful manner. This data is compiled from public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics, and its accuracy is dependent upon these sources.

About CoreLogic

CoreLogic is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company’s combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.

CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo, and LoanSafe Fraud Manager are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact

Robin Wachner
CoreLogic
newsmedia@corelogic.com