South Florida is the nation’s capital of mortgage fraud.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have the highest risk of mortgage fraud in the country, according to a report released Thursday by property analytics firm CoreLogic.
Mortgage fraud typically involves hiding information from lenders so that borrowers can obtain loans they would not have gotten if they had been truthful. The report covered the second quarter of 2015.
The high number of cheap foreclosed homes in South Florida has made the region a magnet for fraud. But as the foreclosure inventory dwindles away, the opportunity for fraud is growing smaller. The risk of mortgage fraud in South Florida fell by 9 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according to the report.
Some local scammers have been prominent members of the community, including former North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau, who was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison in March for her role in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme.
In addition, Florida has the nation’s highest risk of mortgage fraud, CoreLogic found.
The Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota and Jacksonville markets accounted for five of the six riskiest areas in the country. (The other was New York City.) Nationwide, the value of fraudulent mortgage applications is estimated at $17.3 billion, according to CoreLogic.