Mortgage fraud laws are violated by a voluntary and intentional misrepresentation of relevant and material information on a loan application or other statements in the closing procedure of a home or business. In 2009, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 ("FERA") was passed. Prosecutors allege in these cases that a defendant may have knowingly or unknowingly assisted in perpetrating mortgage fraud in either the prime or subprime markets during the recent real estate bubble or its fall out. Charges can include bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.
Now, there have been two notable changes that allow Federal Law Enforcement to go after mortgage fraud:
- Funding for increased enforcement to the FBI, Department of Justice (including the United State Attorney's Office), the U.S. Postal Service, the Secret Service, and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
- Closed loopholes and broadened definitions of illegal activities.
Mortgage fraud may have a bank or lender as the victim in some instances, while in othe rs the owner of a home may be the victim. The type of activities that are targeted by federal investigators in mortgage fraud cases can include:
- Fraud related to appraised values of property
- Equity Skimming
- Straw Buyers
- False statements related to income or assets of the buyer
- Purchasing rental property and stating intent to live in property
- Closing on several homes at the same time so that lenders are not aware of other purchases
At Arnold Law Firm our attorneys have significant experience in mortgage fraud, both prosecuting and defending those charged with such crimes, and have provided criminal defense for mortgage fraud cases in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa.
If you have been accused of mortgage fraud in Florida or Georgia federal or state courts, give the criminal defense lawyers at Arnold Law Firm call. We have the relationships, knowledge, and trial experience to help you create a formidable defense in your criminal case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.