How to Deal with Mortgage Fraud Charges
According to the Financial Times, the FBI is starting to move and begin a nationwide sweep to crack down on mortgage fraud. This investigation has been spurred in an attempt to stall the lending practice that contributed so heavily to the housing collapse. They will be arresting hundreds of people all across the country.
The Financial Times reported that the FBI is specifically targeting violations that include giving false information regarding foreclosure rescue programs and encouraging borrowers to provide misleading information on mortgage applications.
There are 23 Mortgage Fraud Task Forces across the country. Their job is to slash the omission or misrepresentation of materials that are becoming increasingly present on mortgage applications. This tactic allowed brokers, banks, and lenders to issue loans to borrowers who don’t even qualify with their current income and low credit scores.
There were more than 70,000 mortgage fraud cases per year, according to the Financial Times.
Mortgage Fraud cases are becoming a more serious problem as the economy continues to suffer. A criminal defense lawyer will be your best weapon if you have been charged with mortgage fraud.
What is mortgage fraud?
Mortgage fraud is when a person deliberately and knowingly omits information or misrepresents materials on a mortgage loan application in an attempt to receive a loan larger than what would have been received if the lender knew the truth.
Federal law prosecutes mortgage fraud with penalties of up to thirty years imprisonment. Mortgage fraud can also be prosecuted as wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, or money laundering.
Mortgage fraud defense
Many mortgage fraud cases result in additional charges of fraud or money laundering. For instance, making a false statement on an HUD statement and then sending that statement through the mail may constitute mail fraud. Getting a mortgage from a corrupt broker may result in money laundering charges. The accused may not even realize he or she committed a crime until the investigation.
If you tell a criminal defense lawyer you did not intend to commit fraud, he or she will defend you aggressively. Your criminal defense lawyer will review bank statements, mortgage applications, and other documents pertinent to your case, in addition to reviewing the sale and buying history of the house to determine if fraudulent practices occurred before you purchased it. If you are an innocent player in a larger mortgage fraud scheme, you may even be able to have the case dismissed.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer who can help you know your rights and devise a plan of action.