LexisNexis has entered the real estate fraud technology arena with the launch of RiskWise, a screening technology that helps lenders and brokers verify a home loan applicant’s identity.

RiskWise searches multiple databases to verify and validate the authenticity of an applicant’s identity and to provide a risk assessment indicator for lenders. The product is designed to work at various stages in the mortgage cycle, particularly at originations and before funding and is available via Web-based searches, batch-processing or through systems integration in existing platforms.

The product includes a Social Security number verification function to help combat identity fraud and reduce misrepresentations on applications.

Mortgage industry analysts have estimated that more than 10 percent of home loans have an element of misrepresentation, and law enforcement agencies note that mortgage fraud continues to grow. RiskWise aims to reduce origination costs associated with fraudulent loans

Mortgage fraud is a growing problem in the real estate industry, with more cases coming to the surface in recent years. Perpetrators often are professional real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title agents, appraisers and attorneys, and the complex crimes can cost financial companies millions of dollars in losses and litigation expenses.

The FBI has ramped up its efforts to dismantle a variety of financial crimes, which include mortgage and loan fraud, insider fraud, financial institution failure investigations, identity theft, check fraud and check kiting. Since 2000, FBI financial fraud investigations have resulted in more than 11,466 indictments, 11,362 convictions and approximately $8.1 billion in restitution orders.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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