In short, mortgage fraud is a general phrase used to describe the intentional action of providing false information on a mortgage application as a means of defrauding a bank or other type of lender.
What is the point? While most people would never think about lying on a mortgage application, others see an opportunity to “slip through the cracks” and receive a more favorable loan.
Most commonly, misinformation is included on the application to obtain a larger loan than possible had the lender been supplied accurate information. Also, mortgage fraud is commonly committed with the hopes of saving money on interest charges.
In the United States, the penalty for mortgage fraud can reach up to 30 years in prison. Due to an increase in cases over the past five years, a growing number of states are now imposing their own penalties.
Mortgage fraud can be prosecuted as money laundering, mail fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud.
But I didn’t do Anything?
Despite the fact that the crime may be committed unintentionally, you could find yourself under investigation for a serious federal offense.
If you find yourself in this unenviable position, it is essential to contact a Pittsburgh mortgage fraud attorney with both knowledge and experience. Neglecting to do so could make your situation worse, perhaps even landing you in prison despite the fact that the misrepresentation of information was by mistake.
Mortgage Fraud Allegations
There is nothing worse than being charged with mortgage fraud. However, those who find themselves in this position need to know what triggered the investigation.
At PKN Law, we have seen mortgage fraud cases associated with all of the following:
- Occupancy Fraud
- Income Fraud
- Employment Fraud
- Failure to Disclose Liabilities
- Fraud for Profit
- Appraisal Fraud
- Cash-back Schemes
What is Next?
Believe it or not, federal investigators spend many months (or even years) investigating a potential mortgage fraud case. It is not until they have enough proof that they indict the suspect.
Unfortunately, the defendant does not have as much time to prepare. Did you know that federal prosecutors can often times bring the case to trial within two to three months? Not only does this put the defendant at a huge disadvantage, but it does the same for the attorney involved with the case. In short, there is not a lot of time to review the evidence, contact potential witnesses, and conduct a thorough investigation.
In most circumstances, mortgage fraud will negatively impact the personal and professional life of the accused. There is nothing about this white-collar crime to take lightly.
Even if you have been accused of mortgage fraud, it does not mean that you are actually guilty. To give yourself the best chance of success in court, contact the professional Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at PKN Law to review your case and create a plan for moving forward.