The ups and downs of the housing market determine whether sellers or buyers benefit more from the transactions. Throughout the process, everyone involved is expected to act ethically, which means they must provide factual information about everything related to the process. When that doesn’t happen, it’s fraud and mortgage fraud is a very serious matter that can lead to criminal charges.
There are two broad categories that are recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Fraud for housing and fraud for profit. Fraud for housing occurs when the potential buyer makes misstatements about facts in a way that makes them look more favorable. This can occur in several different manners, each of which has its own subcategory under the umbrella of fraud:
- Financial income fraud
- Fake buyer fraud
- Occupancy fraud
- Home appraisal fraud
- Debt management and mortgage foreclosure relief fraud
- Predatory loan fraud
Fraud for profit, on the other hand, is the type that the FBI often focuses on because it can harm consumers and the economy. It usually involves the cooperation of several entities in the lending process. This fraud attempts to get equity and cash from homeowners or lenders by using the mortgage lending process in an inappropriate manner.
Anyone who is charged with crimes related to mortgages needs to determine what defense options they have. If you’re in this position, work closely with your attorney to find out what you can do. There might be elements of the case, such as the need for intent to be present, that your defense may be able to raise questions about so that the jurors can’t convict beyond a reasonable doubt.