COLUMBUS -- We're number one!
Ohio can make that claim. But unfortunately, it's in a category where it would rather not have that ranking.
LexisNexis released its 15th yearly mortgage fraud report and its measurements put Ohio at the top of the list.
The report says Ohio had twice the rate of reported fraud or misrepresentation that should have been expected in 2012.
The report is based on loans sought by people purchasing homes or refinancing existing homes last year.
Bankers, lawmen and foreclosure protection groups are puzzled by the ranking.
The report does not offer reasons and LexisNexis does not offer more specifics.
The report was compiled with data from mortgage lenders, agencies and insurers.
It found 70 percent of fraud comes from misrepresentation on mortgage applications.
Nationwide, the amount of fraud decreased 25 percent in 2012.
Some of the tips offered by lawmen to avoid being a mortgage fraud victims:
- Get referrals for real estate agents of mortgage brokers
- Check recent home sales near the property in question to verify the price is approprotate
- Be wary of unsolicited contact
- Understand the terms of your mortgage
- Know what you are signing.