Mortgage fraud charges are serious. They may be considered felonies, and someone convicted of the crime could face significant prison time and monetary fines. As a result, you will want to talk to an experienced New Jersey mortgage fraud defense attorney to learn about the specifics of your case.
Mortgage Fraud Explained by a New Jersey Mortgage Fraud Defense Attorney
The crime of mortgage fraud typically consists of the following elements:
- Intent. The defendant must have the intent to engage in a fraudulent transaction. Therefore, a mortgage document with a typo or inadvertent error would usually not be enough to support a mortgage fraud charge;
- Misrepresentation. There must be a material misrepresentation in the mortgage documents. In other words, the fraudulent act must be significant enough to have impacted the financial institution’s decision-making; and
- Fraudulent Act. Simply planning fraud may not be enough to support a mortgage fraud charge. Instead, the defendant typically must take an affirmative fraudulent act like submitting the false documents to the bank.
Defendants are oftentimes accused of mortgage fraud to obtain housing on false pretenses or to benefit financially from a real estate transaction. Fraud may be committed by both buyers and sellers. In addition, bank workers and other professionals in the real estate industry like appraisers may be accused of committing the crime.
Mortgage Fraud Laws
There are a variety of federal laws that address mortgage fraud. The federal mortgage fraud misdemeanor statute provides for up to one year in prison and fines for someone who knowingly makes any false statements on mortgage documents. In addition, the crime of mortgage fraud is commonly associated with other crimes like conspiracy, mail fraud, bank fraud and other charges. These may enhance the penalties you face. With the overlapping laws, you will want to consult an attorney to understand the charges brought against you and to explain your options.
Contact a New Jersey Mortgage Fraud Defense Lawyer
Individuals accused of mortgage fraud will want to work with an experienced attorney. Mortgage fraud can be difficult to prove, and prosecutors bear the burden of proof. To learn how attorney Tim Anderson can help your case, call 732-212-2812.