Washington DC Mortgage Fraud Lawyer

Whether you are an individual simply looking to purchase a home or a mortgage lender intent on drumming up more business, you could be subject to federal mortgage fraud charges if you misrepresent or submit false information at any point in the mortgage lending and financing process. You may not even realize that you are violating the law in some cases, or others involved in the real estate deal may encourage you to submit financial documentation that is somewhat misleading.

Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself to be the target of a federal mortgage fraud investigation, you may want to consult a Washington DC mortgage fraud lawyer for advice. Assistance from a qualified criminal defense attorney could be key to effectively pursuing a positive outcome in your case.

Actions That May Constitute Mortgage Fraud

Several different behaviors can fall within the definition of mortgage fraud, but in most cases mortgage fraud involves providing a lender or financial institution with false information in order to obtain a loan. Some common examples of mortgage fraud include:

  • Creating and submitting false financial documents
  • Using another’s name or information to obtain a loan
  • Improperly inflating an appraisal of a property’s value, either to qualify a homeowner for a larger loan or for illegal house flipping
  • Taking out a second mortgage on one property to pay a down payment on another without advising the person who is responsible for paying the first mortgage

While prospective homeowners are often accused of mortgage fraud, mortgage brokers and real estate agents may be charged in mortgage fraud schemes as well. These kinds of cases involve fraud for profit by a lender, broker, or property agent, as opposed to fraud for housing, which involves homeowners.

Common Charges Resulting from Accusations of Mortgage Fraud

Criminal charges stemming from mortgage fraud accusations often involve violations of federal laws that relate to interstate communications, such as mail or wire fraud. For instance, the federal government may claim that a mortgage broker used electronic data or telephone transfers to carry out the fraudulent actions.

Conspiracy to commit fraud charges also commonly result when two or more actors are involved in the alleged mortgage fraud scheme. In order to prove conspiracy to commit fraud under federal law, the government must be able to prove the existence of an agreement or plan to commit a crime and advance the criminal scheme or enterprise. An attorney in Washington DC could help contest mortgage fraud allegations both in and out of court.

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act and Mortgage Fraud

In 2009, Congress enacted the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), which was designed specifically to expand prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes by amending several existing federal criminal statutes concerning fraud. For instance, FERA made major amendments to the False Claims Act (FCA), which is another important piece of federal anti-fraud legislation.

If convicted of fraudulent actions under FERA, individuals could face prison sentences of up to 30 years, as well as up to $1 million in fines. Given these increased potential penalties, consulting with a lawyer when facing mortgage fraud charges in Washington DC may be even more crucial now than it used to be.

Contact a Washington DC Mortgage Fraud Attorney Today

While there are many defenses against mortgage fraud that may be available depending on the circumstances, you cannot explore those defenses until you identify them and determine which are most applicable to your case. An experienced Washington DC mortgage fraud lawyer may be able to evaluate your case and assess which defense strategies are right for you. Call today to learn how you may be able to fight back against charges of mortgage fraud in DC.