What is mortgage fraud?
Mortgage Fraud is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes in the United States. Mortgage Fraud is defined as a material misrepresentation, misstatement, or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase, or insure a loan.
There are two types of Mortgage Fraud: fraud for property and fraud for profit. Fraud for Property, also known as Fraud for Housing, usually involves the borrower as the perpetrator on a single loan. The borrower makes a few misrepresentations, usually regarding income, personal debt, and property value or there are down payment problems. The borrower wants the property and intends to repay the loan. Sometimes industry professionals are involved in coaching the borrower so that they qualify. Fraud for Property/Housing accounts for 20 percent of all fraud.
Fraud for Profit involves industry professionals. There are generally multiple loan transactions with several financial institutions involved. These frauds include numerous gross misrepresentations including: income is overstated, assets are overstated, collateral is overstated, the length of employment is overstated or fictitious employment is reported, and employment is backstopped by co-conspirators. The borrower’s debts are not fully disclosed, nor is the borrower’s credit history, which is often altered. Often, the borrower assumes the identity of another person (straw buyer). The borrower states he intends to use the property for occupancy when he/she intends to use the property for rental income, or is purchasing the property for another party (nominee). Appraisals almost always list the property as owner-occupied. Down payments do not exist or are borrowed and disguised with a fraudulent gift letter. The property value is inflated (faulty appraisal) to increase the sales value to make up for no down payment and to generate cash proceeds in fraud for profit
What can I do?
Areas of our practice include breach of contract, fraud, antitrust, price fixing, patents, EIFS and theft of trade secrets. Many small businesses have found that representation by our firm on a contingency fee basis is the best way to resolve claims against larger companies.
If you or a loved one has become a victim of mortgage fraud, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact us today!