Mortgage Fraud Lawyer Passionately Serving Clients Across the Nation
Charges of mortgage fraud are on the rise in California and nationwide. Once it was learned that these accusations are increasingly common, state and federal law enforcement agencies began investigating and cracking down even harder on anything they deemed to be suspicious. This has resulted in more and more charges being filed, sometimes against innocent people who might have made minor mistakes. And what’s worse, recent investigations seem to suggest that California and federal law enforcement are more focused on the little guy instead of banks and big corporations.
Many examples of mortgage fraud involve a buyer misrepresenting their assets, their income, or some forgery of some sort. Sellers can be guilty of mortgage fraud, too, when they misrepresent the value of their property. Law enforcement is on the lookout for indicators of potential fraud by reviewing suspicious activity reports (SARs) which have been submitted.
If you’ve been charged with, or are under suspicion of, mortgage fraud in Orange County, CA, please speak with criminal defense attorney Diane C. Bass. Everybody’s story is unique, and whatever the particulars of your fraud case may be, it is important that you understand you have rights, and you need to begin building your defense now.
What is Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud is an umbrella term used for any act of misrepresentation or failure to include relevant information at any stage in a mortgage loan application or other parts of the lending process. No real estate transaction is immune from the possibility of fraud, should one or more parties act in bad faith.
If federal or state law enforcement investigates and finds that, indeed, fraud has been committed during your transaction, the accused may face felony or misdemeanor charges. A conviction could result in large financial penalties as well as the possibility of years of prison time.
What Are the Different Examples of Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud can take many forms, with examples of the offense including:
- A buyer purchases real property under a fake identity.
- A home buyer lies on their mortgage application, saying they make more and are worth more than they actually are, in an attempt to secure lower interest rates.
- A prospective buyer misrepresents their outstanding loans and liabilities.
- A real estate agent or consultant scams their other parties in the sale of a piece of property.
- A seller makes false or misleading alterations to real estate, illegitimately inflating property value.
- Air loans including fictitious properties.
- Drafting a fraudulent real estate contract.
- Equity skimming.
- Flipping houses by corrupt means with the help of false appraisals.
- Foreclosure scams.
- Forging signatures on a document.
- Identity theft.
- Making false statements to the FBI, IRS, or any state government agencies in a loan application.
- Mortgage reduction scams.
- Predatory lending.
Mortgage fraud cases usually involve charges of grand theft, money laundering, and wire fraud. If more than one person is involved in the criminal act, it may be charged as a conspiracy.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help?
As with all matters of the law, a person’s actions, intent, and the existence of a past criminal record will be taken into consideration when reviewing the offenses and determining to sentence. But while it may be that you did not intend to defraud anyone, or maybe this is your first recorded criminal offense, you cannot rely on the good graces of an understanding judge and jury to avoid jail time and huge financial losses.
Defense lawyer Diane C. Bass has years of experience representing clients in and out of California courtrooms. Together with Ms. Bass, you will attempt to craft a winning defense to your charges of fraud. And if you should be convicted of a crime, your attorney will use your history and background to argue for lighter sentencing so that you may get back on your feet again sooner rather than later.
Mortgage fraud charges are serious and need to be respected. If you are under investigation or have been recently charged, you need legal representation.
Contact the Law Office of Diane C. Bass to Schedule a Free Consultation
Defense attorney Diane C. Bass has extensive experience representing clients who are facing charges for real estate crimes, mortgage fraud, and other financial criminal offenses. These charges are to be feared and respected, regardless of your perceived legal exposure or lack of criminal intent. But just because you are charged does not mean that you are sure to be convicted. A strong defense could be the number one factor standing between you and harsh sentencing, which includes the potential for high fines and a prison cell.
Mortgage fraud charges are increasing in regularity in recent years. There was a time when misrepresenting assets in order to buy a piece of property was almost an expected part of purchasing real estate in the United States market. However, things changed after the housing crash, and buyers and sellers are more closely monitored to stop them from acting beyond their means. As a result, more people have been charged with mortgage fraud recently, resulting in a lot of people facing harsh consequences for what had been, until recently, the standard operating procedure for buying real property in America. While your defense attorney and others may be sympathetic to your plight, you must not expect your judge and jury to be quite so understanding. It is important to craft a strong defense if you are to avoid severe consequences both legally and financially.
If you are being investigated or have been charged for these crimes, please call the Law Office of Diane C. Bass to schedule a free consultation. 949-494-7011.