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by CareyBot

Editor's note: In this five-part series, Inman News examines the rising tide of mortgage fraud in the U.S., giving an overview of the problem, describing how it works, explaining obstacles to fighting it and describing technologies that combat it and legislation that aims to defeat it. To read the entire five-part report, "Inside real estate's fraud crisis," with two bonus stories, subscribe to Inman News. In 1996, mortgage fraud turned Alicia Sheppard and Ann Fulmer's once-pleasant suburban Atlanta neighborhoods into a nightmare, devastated by deteriorated and damaged homes, squatters, drug dealing, foreclosures and worse. Indeed, mortgage fraud in Georgia occupied the number one spot for mortgage fraud in the nation from 2002 to 2004, according to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute,...