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Credit Plus helps combat increasing fraud with tax return verification.

Credit Plus Inc., Salisbury, Maryland, has announced that mortgage professionals, in today's climate of increased fraud, find significant value in its tax return verification system to validate income and help detect and prevent fraud. The company reports that it has seen a 628 percent increase in tax return verifications over the past year.

According to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI), fraud committed on tax returns and financial statements increased from 17 percent in 2007 to 28 percent in 2008. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) labels mortgage fraud as one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the United States, and reports that mortgage fraud Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) rose 36 percent to a total of 63,175 in 2008. So far in 2009, there have been 33,291 mortgage SARs filed, according to the FBI.

"In this state of the economy, with fewer loan originations, more people may be committing fraud out of desperation," said Steve Grant, president of Credit Plus.

"Lenders are closely examining a borrowers' total income, and many are requiring that a tax return verification report is submitted with applications," he said.

Tax return verification reports compare income-related lines of a borrower's tax return with the same lines on file at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and then highlight any discrepancies.

Credit Plus is one of the first companies in the industry to offer fully electronic order and delivery of any tax return verification service, the company said. If the customer has already scanned or imaged the 4506-T form--the IRS release form that is used to pull a taxpayer's tax transcripts tax returns--he or she can upload the document to the order being placed online. The customer will then receive the data back electronically within 24 to 48 hours.

Credit Plus also offers IDPlus reports that include a summary of fraud and military active-duty alerts or any other alerts noted on a file, whether a credit freeze has been placed on an account, and Social Security number and address verifications.

"Through tax return verification and other anti-fraud solutions, we are dedicated to providing mortgage professionals with fast, simple and reliable ways to detect and fight fraud," said Grant.

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Title Annotation:Tech Newz
Comment:Credit Plus helps combat increasing fraud with tax return verification.(Tech Newz)
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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