There is a good chance that you obtained a mortgage to finance the purchase of your North Carolina home. It’s also likely that you obtained the loan in a lawful manner. However, it’s not uncommon for real estate agents, lenders and other parties to a real estate transaction to engage in mortgage fraud.
The most common type of mortgage fraud schemes aim to enrich the parties to the crime. For example, a buyer may state on a mortgage application that he or she intends to occupy a property acquired with funds provided by a bank or credit union. However, the buyer is simply saying that to obtain better loan terms on a home that will ultimately remain vacant before it is flipped for a profit. Another common scheme involves a real estate or finance professional obtaining a loan for a home that doesn’t exist on behalf of a fictitious buyer. After the loan is approved, the proceeds are simply funneled to whoever is involved in the white-collar crime.
Buyers who commit fraud for housing are mostly concerned with doing whatever it takes to obtain a mortgage. Typically, these individuals misrepresent their income or assets to ensure that they can buy land, a rental property or a residence. Alternatively, they could pressure appraisers into valuing a property at less than its true market value.
If you are convicted of mortgage fraud, you might spend many years in prison or forfeit assets. A judge may also order you to pay restitution to financial institutions or other parties. You could be prohibited from working in the financial industry or having any role in future real estate transactions. For this reason, it’s important to develop a defense to fraud charges.