Mortgage Fraud

Loan or mortgage fraud is one of the most common types of fraud committed against financial institutions. In fact, there was a period of time when many mortgage lenders would verbally encourage borrowers to make misrepresentations on their loan applications. Of course, when the borrower defaulted on the loan and the bank discovered the misrepresented income or other information on the loan application, the case would be turned over for prosecution. In effect, the financial institutions were using the government as their collection agent! As a result, it is becoming more common for prosecutors to bring mortgage fraud allegations against bankers and other lenders who were supposedly aware of the fraudulent activities involved in certain real estate transactions.

Types of Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud cases take a variety of forms. Some of the more common examples include:

  • Equity skimming
  • Double selling
  • False down payments
  • Fraud occurring during the foreclosure process
  • Fraudulent appraisals
  • Hiding liabilities and debts from lender
  • Identity theft
  • Illegal flipping or lying about improvements
  • Lying about income or employment on loan application
  • Occupancy fraud

It is important to understand that you can be prosecuted in federal court for mortgage fraud even if the mortgage lender encourage you or was otherwise aware you were making false representations on your loan application. In fact, you could face charges even if the lender denied your loan application.

If you work for a bank or other mortgage lender, you are likely aware that the government is increasingly looking to prosecute lender officers. However, the negligent approval of a loan does not mean that fraud was involved.

Whether you are the borrower or the lender, if you are facing allegations of mortgage fraud it is imperative that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Mortgage fraud cases can be very complex and require a lawyer who is seasoned in dealing with federal prosecutors. Contact Dan Cogdell for help today.

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