Do I Need a Mortgage Fraud Attorney?
Today, the level of white-collar crime is on its highest. White-collar crime basically refers to a crime committed by person of high ranking positions in the course of their job. White-collar crime usually comes in the form of a threat, bribery, unfair promotions, deception, unfair practices, frauds and cheating in accounts, documents, stock etc. This is in contrast with the crimes known as blue-collar crimes – rape, murder, and homicide, among others. Of all these types of white-collar crime, nothing is more prevalent today than mortgage fraud.
Because of the cunning that most white-collar criminals have, it is typically hard to nip it in the bud and would usually only go to court when millions of dollars have already been carted away by the criminal or criminals involved. There have also been cases wherein people have committed mortgage fraud without intentionally doing so.
One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that mortgage fraud can come in two forms – as fraud for profit and fraud for housing. The former involves revolving equity and inflating the value of properties. Issuing loans based on fictitious properties is also considered to be a fraud for profit. Fraud for housing or fraud for property, on the other hand, is done in order for the borrower to acquire or maintain ownership of a property. In this case, the borrower usually doctors his income as well as employment history in order to get approval for loan.
Mortgage fraud is also different from predatory lending with the former harming those working in the mortgage industry and the latter harming the borrower themselves. There are several schemes by which this type of fraud can be done, foremost of which is property flipping. Although property flipping is generally considered to be legal, creating fraudulent appraisals and doctoring documents are considered illegal.
Another popular fraud scheme is known as backward application. This involves checking first a property to buy and then customizing income as well as doctoring documents in order to fit the loan criteria. Some borrowers also do air loans. This is when a loan is made with no underlying security or collateral.
Being charged with mortgage fraud is no laughing matter. Once proven, you can face many years in prison as well as be made to pay fines and restitutions. Once you are aware of the presence of a mortgage fraud or you have been charged with this type of fraud, you would need to get in touch with a mortgage fraud attorney. This is especially important if you are residing in states where there is a very strict law concerning mortgage fraud such as Arizona and Florida. A mortgage fraud attorney can help determine your degree of liability. They would also be able to defend you should your case result to a lawsuit.