Whether you are an individual simply looking to purchase a home or a mortgage lender intent on drumming up more business, you could be subject to federal mortgage fraud charges if you misrepresent or submit false information at any point in the mortgage lending and financing process.
You may not even realize that you are violating the law in some cases, or others involved in the real estate deal may encourage you to submit financial documentation that is somewhat misleading. Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself to be the target of a federal mortgage fraud investigation, you may want to consult a Washington DC mortgage fraud lawyer for advice. A seasoned fraud attorney could assess your situation and then help build a strong defense for you.
Several different behaviors can fall under the category of mortgage fraud, but in most cases, mortgage fraud involves providing a lender or financial institution with false information in order to obtain a loan. Some common examples of mortgage fraud include the following:
While prospective homeowners often are accused of mortgage fraud, mortgage brokers and real estate agents may be charged in mortgage schemes, as well. These kinds of cases involve fraud for profit by a lender, broker, or property agent, as opposed to fraud for housing, which involves homeowners. For more information about what may be seen as fraud, reach out to a Washington DC mortgage attorney.
Criminal charges stemming from mortgage fraud accusations often involve violations of federal laws that relate to interstate communications, such mail or wire fraud. For instance, the federal government may claim that a mortgage broker used electronic data or telephone transfers to carry out the fraudulent actions.
Conspiracy to commit fraud charges also commonly result when two or more actors are involved in the alleged mortgage fraud scheme. In order to prove a conspiracy to commit fraud under federal law, the government must be able to prove the existence of an agreement or plan to commit a crime and advance the criminal scheme or enterprise.
In 2009, Congress enacted the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), which was designed specifically to expand prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes by amending several existing federal criminal statutes concerning fraud. FERA made major amendments, for instance, to the False Claims Act (FCA), which is another important piece of federal anti-fraud legislation.
If convicted of fraudulent actions under FERA, individuals could face prison sentences of up to 30 years, as well as up to $1 million in fines. The penalties for fraud are severe, which is why it is essential for a defendant to reach out to a mortgage fraud attorney in Washington DC.
While there are many defenses against mortgage fraud that may be available, you cannot explore those defenses until you identify them and determine which are most applicable to your case.
An experienced Washington DC mortgage fraud lawyer may be able to evaluate your case and assess which defense strategies are right for you. Call a skilled criminal defense attorney today and learn how you may be able to fight back against charges of mortgage fraud in DC.
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