""_Mortgage Daily's_"":http://www.mortgagedaily.com/ Mortgage Fraud Index fell to its lowest level in nearly five years in Q4 2012, but the drop may just be a temporary dip.[IMAGE]
The fraud index read 758 in the fourth quarter, down from 1,017 in Q3 and 1,141 in Q4 2011. According to _Mortgage Daily_, the fourth-quarter index reading was the lowest since first-quarter 2008.
The number of cases tracked fell to 105--its lowest level since at least 2007. In Q3, there were 141 cases, while Q4 2011 saw 171 cases.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Meanwhile, the dollar amount on fraud cases dropped to approximately $1.3 billion, down from $1.7 billion in Q3 and $1.8 billion the prior year. The fourth quarter's dollar amount was the lowest since 2011.
While the decline in fraud might seem promising, _Mortgage Daily_ founder Sam Garcia says it's unlikely to last.
""Preliminary data indicates that mortgage fraud case activity during the first quarter of this year was up around 25 percent from the fourth quarter,"" Garcia said.
In terms of dollar amount of loans involved in fraud, California posted a decline from the third quarter, when it ranked No. 1. The Golden State dropped slightly in the ranks to the No. 2 spot, while Florida--which didn't appear among the five worst-ranked states in Q3--took the top spot with about $246.9 million.
As far as their index readings go, California and Florida both tied at 97.
The index is put together using data from ""FraudBlogger.com"":http://fraudblogger.com/. While suspicious activity reports and other risk measures measure fraud that may have happened or could happen, Mortgage Daily's index tracks only proven cases.