Accusations of white-collar criminal activity have the potential to impact virtually every area of life. Even an initial investigation can bring complications that may affect your professional and personal reputation, and it is critical to begin defending your rights and interests from the earliest stages of the process. Part of your defense strategy should include understanding the nature of the case against you.
Mortgage fraud is a common type of white-collar crime that involves using misrepresentation of some kind in order to defraud a lender. Mortgage fraud schemes of any kind can result in serious federal charges, and if convicted, you could spend years or decades behind bars. It is critical to take your situation seriously, working diligently to avoid a conviction or mitigate the penalties you are up against.
Two common types of mortgage fraud
While the schemes designed for the purpose of committing this type of white-collar crime differ, there are two main types of mortgage fraud:
- Fraud for housing — This type of fraud involves a California borrower acting in an illegal manner when attempting to buy a home. This often happens when a buyer misrepresents information regarding his or her income or assets on a mortgage loan application. It also happens when a borrower does things with the intent of influencing the appraisal of the property.
- Fraud for profit — This type of mortgage fraud typically takes place on a larger scale, often committed by insiders in the industry. They use their insider knowledge to commit fraud, often by using the mortgage lending process as a way to access and steal cash.
Mortgage fraud is a serious crime that the federal government will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of the motivation behind the scheme. In addition to the borrower, it is possible for anyone else involved in the mortgage process to commit fraud, including the loan officer, real estate agent and more.
The right defense strategy
There is no one-size-fits-all defense strategy against mortgage fraud charges. If you are under investigation or already charged with this type of crime, you would be wise to take immediate action to put together an effective strategy by which you will fight for your future interests. Regardless of the prosecution’s case or the alleged evidence against you, you have the right to a presumption of innocence.