|Title: ||MARI Releases Eighth Annual Report on Mortgage Fraud for MBA|
WASHINGTON, DC (May 16, 2006) - The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today announced that the Mortgage Asset Research Institute, Inc. (MARI®) has delivered
its eighth annual fraud report to MBA. The report, Eighth Periodic Mortgage Fraud Case Report to Mortgage Bankers Association, examines the current composition of residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation in the United States based on reports
by participating lenders to MARI.
Over the past few years, MBA has been a leader in raising the national profile of mortgage fraud against lenders by hosting
a National Fraud Summit in 2005, launching a Mortgage Fraud Against Lenders Resource Center Website (http://MBAFightsFraud.MortgageBankers.org), improving communications between law enforcement and mortgage lenders, advocating additional resources for law enforcement,
and hosting today's first annual National Fraud Issues Conference.
"As we have seen from attendance at today's National Fraud Issues Conference, the mortgage industry has come together to combat
the burgeoning crime of mortgage fraud against lenders and innocent consumers," said Kurt Pfotenhauer, senior vice president
of government affairs at MBA. "Yet, mortgage fraud continues to increase and affect more and more companies and communities.
The MARI report helps the industry understand where we need to focus our efforts in combating mortgage fraud."
Some highlights in the report include the following:
- Florida had the most reported mortgage fraud against lender cases for 2005, followed by Utah, Georgia, Colorado and Illinois.
- Georgia, which had lead the nation in total reported mortgage fraud against lender cases from 2002-2004, has dropped to third
position for mortgage fraud. MBA believes this is likely due to aggressive efforts at the state level, including passage
of the Georgia Residential Mortgage Fraud Act one year ago.
- Colorado and Illinois show steadily increasing problems over the past five years. Colorado was number 21 in 2001 and now ranks
fourth in highest number of reported fraud cases. Illinois dropped from 11th in 2001, to fifth in 2005.
- South Carolina shows the greatest improvement in its MARI Fraud Index, moving from the state with the highest number of cases
in 2001, to number 19 in 2005.
"As the mortgage industry continues its efforts to fight mortgage fraud against lenders, it is vital that all segments of
the industry work collaboratively," said Merle D. Sharick, manager of national business development for MARI. "MARI is pleased
to be part of this effort by providing current data to MBA members through our fraud report."
MARI provides MBA members the annual reports as well as discounted fees to participate in MARI's database, the Mortgage Industry
Data Exchange (MIDEX®). The MIDEX® system allows mortgage lenders, insurers and agencies to exchange information about companies
and professionals that have been involved in loan transactions containing alleged fraud or material misrepresentations.
MBA and MARI have also joined forces to provide the Mortgage Fraud Alert System (MFAS) to MBA member companies. This system
issues periodic alerts to MBA members about suspicious activities related to mortgage lending.
A full copy of the report will be available on MBA's Mortgage Fraud Against Lenders Resource Center website, http://MBAFightsFraud.MortgageBankers.org.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry
that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the
association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation's residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand
homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and
fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety
of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies,
mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending
field. For additional information, visit MBA's Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.