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FBI And Other State And Local Officials Putting an Emphasis on Investigating Mortgage Fraud

Law enforcement officials, including state police authorities, the F.B.I. and state authorities, have given a high priority to mortgage fraud investigations.

One area of interest to authorities is the purchase of multiple properties using false statements to financial institutions to obtain a loan. Investigations target mortgage brokers, real estate appraisers, purchasers, and banking officials who have engaged in conduct that involves knowingly taking part in false loan applications.

Certain conduct raises a red flag including; (1) multiple purchases in which the buyer represents each house as the principle residence; (2) using a straw purchaser to get credit; and (3) mortgage brokers or real estate brokers improperly colluding with real estate appraisers to over-inflate real estate appraisals.

In addition, the use of false Social Security numbers, inflated representations of income, false tax returns, and other documentation falsely exaggerating income, are all items which may lead to an investigation and prosecution.

A person may have intentionally provided false information or may have unintentionally been used by others in the real estate, mortgage, or banking businesses who seek to receive their bonuses or commissions.

Likewise, those in the real estate and banking profession sometimes are the subject of unscrupulous buyers and borrowers.

Because federal sentencing guidelines are driven by the amount of potential loss to a bank or lending institution in determining the sentence, a first-time offender may find themselves facing incarceration, even though they have no prior criminal record.

It is important to treat all allegations of mortgage or bank fraud seriously since, even if incorrect, without proper representation, a criminal prosecution may occur.

This firm has seen a significant increase in mortgage fraud investigations and an aggressive stance being taken by all law enforcement officials. Early representation by an attorney experienced in mortgage and bank fraud defense is important to protect against investigations, prosecutions, and imprisonment for mortgage and banking fraud.