Short sales are being used more frequently by homeowners, lenders, and investors to avert a foreclosure, and industry data released this week shows that these pre-foreclosure transactions are being pushed through at a faster pace.

Freddie Mac says its short sales have risen from about 4 percent of completed workouts in 2000 to nearly 14 percent in 2010.

The GSE warns that with the increase in short sale transactions comes an increase in fraud. It’s become the top priority for Freddie Mac’s fraud investigation unit.
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