According to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute, mortgage fraud rose sharply in 2008. The number one state for mortgage fraud in 2008 was Rhode Island, followed by Florida at #2 and Illinois at # 3. Numbers 4 through 10 include Georgia, Maryland, New York, Michigan, California, Missouri and Colorado.
The data suggests that the economic downturn may have caused more desperation in people's lives, causing more people to commit mortgage fraud. Fraud has a large impact on neighborhoods, since many of these loans end up in foreclosure, thus impacting the values and marketability of nearby properties. The leading cause of fraud in 2008 was falsified loan applications. There are other factors too, such as appraisal fraud and lender fraud.