Decatur, Illinois Mortgage Fraud Lawyer
Over the past decade, state and federal officials have increased their scrutiny of real estate transactions for potential mortgage fraud. This includes looking at real estate professionals–including agents, brokers, and appraisers–as well as individual homebuyers. Basically, if the government thinks there may have been any type of fraud in connection with obtaining a mortgage loan, serious federal criminal charges could follow.
Mortgage fraud may not sound like the most heinous of crimes. But depending on the circumstances of a particular case, a person charged in connection with mortgage fraud can face years–even decades–in federal prison. That is why it is important to work with an experienced Decatur, Illinois mortgage fraud lawyer who understands these complex cases. At Patel Law, PC, federal criminal defense attorney Baku N. Patel and his team can provide you with skilled, professional representation in addressing allegations of mortgage fraud.
What Is Mortgage Fraud?
“Mortgage fraud” broadly refers to unlawful conduct in the procurement of a loan to purchase a home or other real estate. It is not a specific federal crime. Rather, there are several federal statutes that may be used to prosecute suspected acts of mortgage fraud.
The key to any fraud is that someone intentionally makes a false or inaccurate statement in order to obtain something of value from another party. In the context of mortgage fraud, this generally breaks down into one of two categories. The first is “fraud for profit,” where the government believes industry professionals are manipulating the system to make money. The second is “fraud for housing,” which focuses on a borrower who uses deception simply because they want to buy a house.
Some of the specific acts that can lead to a mortgage fraud prosecution include:
- using someone else’s identity or credit history on a mortgage application;
- submitting forged or altered documentation in support of a mortgage application;
- taking out a second mortgage on a property to cover the down payment on a first mortgage loan without informing the first lender;
- fraudulently over-appraising the value of a property to justify a larger mortgage loan than is necessary to cover the purchase; or
- the borrower falsely states they intend to occupy the purchased property in order to obtain a more favorable interest rate.
Any of these actions can lead to a whole host of charges, including wire fraud, mail fraud, making a false statement on a loan application, and even criminal conspiracy. A conviction on any of these can lead to prison time and substantial fines–not to mention being permanently classified as a “felon” by the federal government.
Contact Patel Law Today
Telling a “little white lie” on a mortgage application might not sound like a big deal. But any fraudulent act in connection with obtaining a bank loan can easily bring down the full weight of the federal government upon you. So if you are in trouble and need to speak with a qualified Decatur, Illinois mortgage fraud attorney, contact Patel Law, PC, today to schedule a free case evaluation.