South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Explains How Mortgage Fraud Works

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8th Oct 2019

A South Florida criminal defense attorney has the knowledge necessary to explain Florida’s laws involving mortgage fraud and how to assess the factors involved in your case if you are charged with this offense. This type of case is usually charged as a third-degree felony, so it is vital to contact an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney the moment you know you are the subject of a criminal investigation. The lawyer may discuss some of the following details with you during your initial consultation:

What Mortgage Fraud Is 

Mortgage fraud occurs when a person intentionally omits lies or confuses details when filling out a mortgage application or applying for a loan. Both lenders and borrowers are capable of committing this crime. The borrower in this situation may mislead the lender by providing false or inaccurate details. The lender may change details in the application for monetary gain and might have the borrower sign documents without reading the details.

Penalties for Mortgage Fraud 

The prosecution may use documentation, proof of intent and the details supplied in the application. Penalties may include any or all of the following:

  1. Prison sentences up to 30 years, depending on whether the charge is considered a state or federal offense
  2. Fines up to $1 million, depending on the value of fraud
  3. Restitution to pay back the loses to third parties
  4. Probation which can last as little as one year, depending on the charges

Defenses to Mortgage Fraud 

Valid and strong defenses for mortgage fraud charges involve the lack of criminal intent to commit mortgage fraud. This usually entails making mistakes on applications or unintentionally omitting necessary details. Intent is difficult to prove, and if multiple mistakes are made, they may be able to bolster the defense. The borrower may have simply been confused when completing the application, not trying to lie or mislead the lender in any way.