Federal and state governments have made prosecuting mortgage fraud a significant priority. In part, the number of investigations has intensified due to the impact the housing market has on the nation’s economy and its financial institutions, but also because federally insured financial institutions have increased their reports of fraud to the FBI.
Ask a Houston Bank Fraud Lawyer: What Is Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud schemes generally involve a material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relating to a property that is presented to and relied upon by the lender or insurer in making a decision whether to fund, purchase or insure the loan. In 80 percent of federal cases, the “scheme” involves an agreement between an industry insider or insiders — an appraiser, underwriter, mortgage broker or banker — to siphon money or equity out of a transaction.
A critical fact in mortgage fraud cases is whether the fraudulent statement is “material;” whether the lender or insurer knew about the falsehood; and whether the lender or insurer conducted a diligent review before executing its decision. If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, it is important to seek the help of an experienced bank fraud lawyer in Houston who can aggressively defend your rights.
Houston Mortgage & Bank Fraud Defense Lawyers
Mortgage and bank fraud cases are often complex, since they may involve prior civil litigation and large amounts of “paper.” Thus, these cases require significant document review so that the bank fraud lawyer understands the facts and can present a viable defense. These cases frequently involve large amounts of alleged “loss” that, at the federal level, could expose a defendant to lengthy sentences. Loss calculations in mortgage and bank fraud cases require knowledgeable attorneys that understand how to lower or offset “loss” and thus limit a defendant’s prospective sentence.
As stated above, mortgage fraud may be prosecuted by federal or state authorities. Often, the prosecution alleges conspiracy, but the crime may also involve bank fraud, false statements to federally backed institutions, mail and wire fraud. Significantly, frauds that affect a federally insured financial institution have a 10-year statute of limitations.
Accused of Mortgage or Bank Fraud? Our Houston Defense Lawyers Can Help.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Houston bank fraud lawyer regarding mortgage fraud investigations and litigation, please contact us by email or call us toll-free at 888-659-8742 or locally at 713-234-1416.