Mortgage fraud can be defined as misrepresentation with the intent to obtain a more favorable deal on a mortgage. Prosecutions for mortgage fraud offenses are on the rise as the federal government has begun to take aim on fraud in the mortgage industry. Investigations of mortgage fraud are intrusive and penalties are severe. If you or someone you know faces allegations of mortgage fraud, it is important to secure the best possible team of mortgage fraud attorneys for yourself as quickly as possible.
There are two main types of mortgage fraud. Mortgage Fraud for Profit (also known as "industry insider fraud") and mortgage fraud for housing (which involves allegedly illegal actions carried out independently by the borrower). The FBI focuses primarily on mortgage fraud for profit thought to be committed by industry insiders.
A criminal residential mortgage fraud action can come about when a prosecuting agent believes a residential mortgage loan has been procured by way of materially false information or the concealment of material information. If the prosecuting agent can convince a jury that there was an intent to defraud, this charge can result in a felony conviction when the defendant is thought to have received more than $1000.00 in profits from the alleged residential mortgage fraud.
Mortgage fraud allegations can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Mortgage Appraisal Fraud actions involving the alleged overstatement or understatement of a home's appraised value;
Mortgage Fraud Equity Skimming investigations that happen when a prosecuting agent believes corporate shell companies, corporate identity theft, or the use or threat of bankruptcy or foreclosure have been used to mislead homeowners or investors;
Mortgage Fraud for Profit accusations that concern the perceived use of a credit report from a "straw borrower" (someone who allegedly purchases property in order to conceal the identity of the actual purchaser), in addition to the alleged existence of complicit appraisers and settlement agents;
Mortgage Fraud Identity Theft actions that come about when the identity of an alleged victim is said to have been assumed by another and then used to obtain a mortgage without that alleged victim's knowledge or consent;
Mortgage Fraudulent Loan Application and failure to disclose liabilities charges that arise when falsification of employment or overstatement of income is said to have happened, or when a borrower is said to have artificially lowered his or her debt-to-income ratio by allegedly concealing other financial obligations, such as previously acquired mortgage loans or recent credit card debt;
Mortgage Occupancy Fraud prosecutions that occur when a borrower is thought to have fraudulently obtained a lower interest rate by misrepresenting an investment property as a primary or secondary residential purchase;
Property Flipping actions that can surface when a property's value is thought to have been inflated through false appraisals; and,
"Shotgunning" charges that arise when multiple loans for the same property in excess of the real value of that property are said to have been obtained simultaneously
The housing crisis in the United States has led to a drastic nationwide increase in mortgage fraud accusations, resulting in thousands of investigations and numerous arrests. Mortgage fraud conviction can produce prison sentences of as much as 40 years. Corporate executives as well as private citizens are confronted with criminal prosecution in the face of the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
In November 2008, Countrywide Financial Corporation reached an $8 billion settlement with 11 states, but by December investors had filed yet another lawsuit. AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers are also currently under FBI investigation.
Are you facing a potentially extensive and intrusive federal investigation? If so, you need a white collar defense lawyer with the experience and ability necessary to produce a favorable outcome for your case. With the Blanch Law Firm on your side, you will get five such lawyers.
The Blanch Law Firm knows how to defend against mortgage fraud charges, whether in or out of a courtroom. Contact one of our mortage fraud attorneys by calling 212-736-3900 . Your initial consultation is both free and confidential.