Fraudulent loan activity declined slightly in Michigan at the end of last year.
Kroll Factual Data checks loan applications for phony buyers, attempts to misrepresent the value of homes and other fraudulent information.
Kroll president Rod Bazzani says there's been a surge in home loan refinancing, which may explain the decline. He says refinancing more than doubled last year.
“When you understand that statistic, you realize you’re going to have much less fraud in a refinance environment than you would in a purchase loan environment,” says Bazzani.
According to Kroll’s numbers, fraudulent loan applications dropped in Grand Rapids, Flint and Ann Arbor in the fourth quarter of last year. Detroit’s rate remained stable.
Bazzani says Flint’s 9 percent decline is significant, since Flint had the highest percentage increase in the third quarter of 2012.
“It’s good to see for the folks in Flint that that trend has reversed itself,” says Bazzani.
According to Kroll, nationwide, fraudulent loan activity dipped 1.6 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2012, and decreased 3.4 percent in 2012 compared to 2011.