The numbers for mortgage litigation activity reflected in the fourth-quarter 2011 Mortgage Litigation Index reached an all-time high. Foreclosure cases were the main cause for the increase, with criminal, servicing, and mortgage fraud also up. Mortgage Daily tracked a total 244 cases in the quarter, as compared with 151 in the same quarter for 2010.

Christopher J. Willis, a partner in Ballard Spahr's Mortgage Banking and Consumer Financial Services Groups, has prepared a white paper relevant to the index. In his analysis, he states: "Unfortunately, the phenomena that led to the surge in litigation in the fourth quarter of 2011 have only intensified in 2012, suggesting that we are unlikely to see a significant decline in litigation in the near term. ... Many of the categories showing a high number of cases in the final quarter of 2011 are ones exempted from the national multi-state mortgage servicing settlement."