The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced this month that it was investigating 1,200 cases of mortgage fraud at the end of 2007.

That’s an increase of 47 percent over 2006 and up 176 percent since 2003.

It’s important to note that the FBI only investigates cases that are worth more than $500,000, so the 1,200 may be excluding many of the homeowners most affected by foreclosure and other housing troubles.

The numbers the FBI provided were included in a report on mortgage fraud and some of the data came from the Mortgage Bankers Association. It makes me question some of the impartiality of this report. The Mortgage Bankers Association represents mortgage lenders.

Here’s another stat that further shows the extent of the mortgage crisis:
– more than 2.2 million foreclosure filings were reported on approximately 1.29 million properties during fiscal year 2007, a 75 percent increase over 2006

The FBI also says that as the housing market continues to decline the possibility of mortgage fraud goes up. So maybe we ain’t seen nothing yet?

Lenders are trying to protect themselves by tightening credit standards for new mortgages. So if you’re trying to get a mortgage be prepared. If your credit isn’t the best and you haven’t saved much you may want to go for an FHA loan.

Published: May 19, 2008