Lenders should be on the lookout for an increase in mortgage applicants who lie about their incomes, according a new quarterly report from CoreLogic.
The risk of income application fraud rose 13% year over year in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic's predictive scoring of fraud incidence in an estimated 2.4 million mortgage applications. However, the risk of applications that intentionally misrepresent property values fell 20.8% year over year.
These shifts suggest that mortgage fraud is evolving in step with the real estate market, according to Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist.
"As the housing market and economy have healed over the last 18 months, a transition away from property-related, and to identity-related, application fraud has occurred," Fleming said in the report. "Rising prices and a healing housing market make property-related mortgage application fraud less likely."
Overall, the probability of mortgage fraud has declined significantly in the past year. CoreLogic's mortgage application fraud risk index fell for the fifth consecutive quarter, dropping 5.6% year over year.
Likelihood of fraud rose in some states. Ohio saw a 30.1% boom in risk of mortgage-application fraud in the past year. Risk increased 19.6% in Hawaii and 16.6% in Kentucky.
Steep declines occurred elsewhere. Fraud risk fell 29% in the District of Columbia, 23.1% in Nevada and 22.3% in Idaho.
The CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report uses the latest reported data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and CoreLogic's proprietary loan-servicing data to estimate the number of mortgage applications per origination by quarter and geography. Its fraud risk index is based on residential mortgage loan applications processed by CoreLogic LoanSafe Fraud Manager, a predictive scoring service.