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What is mortgage fraud?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | White Collar Crimes

Mortgage fraud is one of the many white-collar crimes that could land you in serious trouble. Even if you avoid a conviction, the distress and hassle the accusations cause could affect you for years to come. Hence, it’s best to do all you can to make sure no one can accuse you.

Mortgage fraud refers to an attempt to defraud a mortgage lender out of money. There are two principal situations in which you could face this kind of accusation – when trying to buy a property or when helping someone else to buy one.

Purchasing property

You must fill out your mortgage applications and any other paperwork you submit to the lender truthfully. If your employment situation has changed since you completed pre-approval paperwork, tell them. If you are self-employed and unsure of your income, get appropriate help to decide how much you can legitimately state you earn. Guessing, using overly optimistic estimates or basing your figures on business deals that are not signed off could land you in hot water.

Appraising a property 

If you work in real estate, you may be required to place a value on a particular piece of real estate. Do not let anyone persuade you to up the amount so they can borrow more money. Whether you do it as a favor to a friend or in return for a commission from a potential purchaser or homeowner, you could face fraud charges if the lender discovers what you have done.

Acting with honesty is best in all financial dealings. It reduces the chance you face charges or are suspected of involvement when someone you have dealt with is suspected of fraudulent activity. If that occurs, it’s wise to get help to defend your honor and freedom.