Trends in mortgage fraud schemes exposed

Debt elimination may be emerging strategy for scam artists

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A new analysis of a decade of suspected mortgage fraud cases shows a rise in identity theft and Internet or telephone-based loan approvals to obtain fraudulent loans, and warns that debt elimination schemes may be the new frontier for scam artists as interest rates rise and growth in housing equity slows.

The study, by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also found a dramatic increase in the number of suspicious activity reports filed by lenders involving mortgage fraud.