The First American Loan Application Defect Index was released January 26 for December 2015. The index estimates the frequency of fraudulence and defects in mortgage applications.

In December, defects and fraudulence throughout the nation fell 2.6 percent over the previous month, and fell 8.4 percent over the same month in the previous year. When compared with the highest reported index in October 2013, the index has dipped by 25.5 percent.

The December dip marked the fifth consecutive month-over-month fall.

Of the 50 Core Based Statistical Areas measured, the top five markets with the highest year-over-year decrease in defect include Detroit, Birmingham, Ala., Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

In the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA, the December 2015 index was reported at 71.

  • The index represented a 2.74 percent month-over-month decline.
  • On a three-month over three-month basis, the index dropped 8.97 percent.
  • Annually, the index dipped 11.25 percent.

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