ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, DC, — LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today announced that its Homestead Exemption Fraud Detection Solution has uncovered more than $2.3 million in recaptured lost revenue for Fort Bend County, Texas, by identifying and preventing 1,194 cases of erroneous – and in some instances, fraudulent – tax filings. The solution combines the company’s public records databases with identity analytics and advanced linking technology to help county governments detect erroneous and fraudulent filings, collect taxes resulting from these filings and identify new sources of revenue.
From a population of approximately 685,000, the LexisNexis Homestead Exemption Fraud Detection Solution identified 11,898 properties as being suspicious and needing additional research. Certified fraud analysts with LexisNexis Risk Solutions worked with Fort Bend Central Appraisal District officials to research the identified homesteads to determine if their exemptions were legitimate or should be denied.
“We take our responsibility as a steward of taxpayer dollars very seriously,” said Glen Whitehead, Chief Appraiser, Fort Bend Central Appraisal District in Fort Bend County, Texas. “Erroneous homestead exemption filings, whether due to the homeowner’s mistake or intentional fraud takes dollars away from important services like schools and first responders, leaving honest taxpayers to fill the gap with higher tax bills. The LexisNexis Homestead Exemption Fraud Detection Solution has helped us recapture base taxes of more than $2.3 million. And we expect even more new revenue since we have only processed less than half of the identified anomalous properties.”
The solution uses proprietary identity analytics to detect erroneous filings and fraudulent activity by cross-checking customer records against more than 20,000 public records and commercial data sources. The program reviews the homestead exemption filings to ensure compliance with state laws to detect key indicators for errors and fraud, including duplicate exemption filings and family members receiving deductions under a deceased property owners’ name.
“We applaud the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District for using new technology to gain a broader picture of its homestead exemption claims – one that looks at claimed exemptions across jurisdictional boundaries to detect anomalies, errors and outright fraud,” said Haywood Talcove, CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Using identity analytics to detect suspicious filings, such as exemptions for deceased property owners or those with multiple exempted properties, Fort Bend County is recapturing lost revenue while ensuring every taxpayer pays their fair share.”
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions includes seven brands that span multiple industries and sectors. We harness the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.