What Is Mortgage Fraud?
This is usually a complex offense that involves mortgage lenders as well as borrowers. A person may be charged with mortgage fraud when he or she misleads, falsifies, intentionally omits or distorts pertinent information on a mortgage application. A borrower may commit mortgage fraud when he or she intentionally makes misrepresentations about pertinent information during the application and approval process. Lenders may commit mortgage fraud when they collaborate with other parties such as real estate agents, attorneys, contractors, appraisers, mortgage brokers, or investment bankers in order to make a profit from the transaction based on false information.
Who Prosecutes Mortgage Fraud Cases?
Both State and Federal prosecutors may charge mortgage fraud cases. Federal authorities primarily get involved when the case involves multiple states, federal agencies, federally-regulated lenders, or even when the dollar value of the alleged fraud is high.
Is Mortgage Fraud Ever Associated with Organized Crime?
Federal prosecutors have pursued Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges when mortgage fraud involved large-scale operations, including against so-called organized crime members. Such charges may be brought against lenders or individuals.
What Are the Penalties for Mortgage Fraud?
The potential penalties vary depending on the exact charge and all the facts surrounding the particular case. Penalties can be severe, including potentially lengthy prison time. In federal cases, the maximum is 30 years per count. Fines may also be imposed, up to millions of dollars. And, the court may order payment of restitution to any potential victim, or the forfeiture of assets. Probation or supervised release of a number of years after prison time has been served time may also be imposed.
What should I do if I need a New Jersey Mortgage Fraud Lawyer?
If you or a loved one are under investigation for or charged with mortgage fraud, contact me at The Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson, LLC by calling (732) 212-2812.