Emerging trend in central California: cheaters targeting lenders

MODESTO -- Lenders are being warned there's a higher risk of mortgage fraud in Stanislaus County than anywhere else in the United States, and it's almost as bad in Merced and San Joaquin counties.

The risk of borrowers ripping off lenders is twice as high in the Northern San Joaquin Valley compared with the national average, according to mortgage application data analyzed by Interthinx.

"When you talk about mortgage fraud, you're talking about bank robbery without a gun," said Ann Fulmer, Interthinx vice president of industry relations. "It robs a community of its value and security." Interthinx analyzes mortgage applications for more than 1,100 lenders, running data through its computers to spot potential fraud.

Read the complete story at