Orlando Mortgage Fraud Defense Attorney
Following the housing crash of 2008, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) enacted by the federal government provided for enhanced criminal enforcement of existing fraud statutes. As a result, laws that previously did not apply to mortgage fraud, now apply, making it much more likely that someone involved in the mortgage loan process will become the subject of a mortgage loan fraud investigation.
If you are presently involved in a mortgage fraud investigation or you have been formally accused of committing mortgage fraud, you should not delay in getting help from an experienced federal white-collar criminal defense attorney. Convictions for mortgage fraud can include significant time in prison, hefty fines, and the loss of your broker’s or real estate license, so you need a defense attorney who is especially qualified to protect your rights and defend your freedom.
As a former Federal Prosecutor and Special Agent who spent over years investigating and prosecuting white-collar crimes, Attorney Dan Eckhart has the experience and expertise you need. Now, as a criminal defense attorney, he puts everything he learned while working for the Department of Justice to use defending those accused of mortgage fraud and other white-collar crimes.
Mortgage Fraud Charges
Mortgage fraud charges encompass a broad array of conduct that involves misrepresenting or omitting important information relating to a mortgage loan application and approval process. The intent of the conduct in question is to obtain a mortgage, or a larger mortgage, than the financial institution would approve if they had all the correct information. This could refer to anything from inflating a borrower’s income on an application to intentionally omitting derogatory facts about the condition of the property that serves as the collateral for the loan.
Most mortgage fraud investigations, however, fall into one of the following three categories:
- Appraisal — This often involves inflating the value of a home so that a borrower can obtain a larger loan than is truly justified or so a borrower can cash out of their existing home. Conversely, it can also refer to undervaluing a property so that a borrower can pay a reduced purchase price. Finally, failing to disclose adverse information regarding the condition of a property in order to inflate the value of the property also falls into this category.
- Income — This involves a borrower overstating income, falsifying income, or temporarily borrowing money from someone so it appears that the borrower has a much larger savings than he/she really has.
- Disclosures — When a borrower submits a mortgage loan application a number of disclosures are required in addition to basic income information. Misstating or omitting any required disclosures can also form the basis for a charge of mortgage fraud.
Defending Against Allegations of Mortgage Fraud
Ideally, defending against allegations of mortgage fraud begin long before charges have actually been filed. At the investigation stage, an experienced mortgage fraud attorney can often prevent charges from ever being filed against the target of the investigation.
If charges are already pending, or it is not possible to prevent charges from being filed, a strong defense strategy may involve focusing on the element of intent. The prosecution must prove that a defendant intended to commit fraud. The defense, therefore, may claim that omissions were oversights or that misrepresentations were unintentional. Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Mortgage Fraud Defense Attorney
If you are the target of a mortgage fraud investigation or the defendant in a mortgage fraud prosecution, the best thing you can do for yourself and your future is to retain the services of Orlando federal defense attorney, Dan Eckhart. With years working as a Special Agent and Federal Prosecutor, attorney Eckhart has a unique insider’s perspective that enables him to anticipate how a government investigation will proceed and how they will try the case.
If you are the target of a federal mortgage fraud investigation or you have already been formally charged with mortgage fraud, you need the defense team at Dan Eckhart Law on your side as soon as possible. Call us at 407.276.0500 or use the form on our website to contact us and get started on your defense.