March 18 2009, 9:58 AM
Mortgage rates in Colorado are three points above the national average, as the Denver Business Journal recently reported, and let's hope mortgage fraud isn't the reason. Colorado ranked 10th in the nation in terms of mortgage fraud last year, according to The Los Angeles Times, a problem that persisted even though fewer loans were issued for home purchases. Nationally, fraud cases jumped by 26 percent, writesÂ The Washington Post, citing a new study by theÂ Mortgage Asset Research Institute, an arm of the information company LexisNexis, finding that "fraud is more prevalent than it was at the height of the lending boom." A government financial regulator in Maryland disputes the report, saying information from other sources, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and mortgage financier Fannie May, indicate otherwise. The report says the most common type of fraud is misrepresentation of income, followed by fraud on tax returns, and then housing appraisals.