Procuring a mortgage lets many people enjoy their dream of owning a home. The mortgage industry in Michigan also benefits from the chance to generate profits from reliable borrowers. Not everyone turns out to be honest when seeking a mortgage, however, and some lenders operate in an unethical manner. Individuals who take chances with mortgage fraud might find themselves in serious legal trouble when caught.
Looking at mortgage fraud schemes
Mortgage fraud involves deception and misrepresentation to acquire a benefit that a person otherwise wouldn’t receive. While some would-be borrowers might think it is okay to stretch the truth on a mortgage application, such practices could be highly illegal. Lying to a lender about income and then providing false financial statements to support the falsehoods might result in criminal charges.
Mortgage lenders may engage in fraud-related white-collar crimes as well. Working with a dishonest appraiser to overvalue or undervalue a home may get all parties into legal troubles, and “all parties” could include many people. For example, building developers and real estate agents might engage in fraud.
Mortgage scams related to identity theft can also happen. Hopeful homeowners could find themselves shocked that a seemingly legitimate company was a criminal enterprise.
Addressing problems with mortgage fraud charges
Someone facing a mortgage fraud investigation and possible felony charges may not be guilty. That person might be negligent, but negligence isn’t identical to deliberate fraud.
Numerous defenses might arise when fighting a fraud charge. For example, one professional’s partner might be guilty of fraudulent behavior and did things the other partner had no knowledge of. Law enforcement misconduct could lead to the dismissal of fraud charges. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get white-collar crime charges reduced or the case completely thrown out.