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NY Penal Law § 187.05: Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Fifth Degree

July 5, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

According to the New York criminal code, residential mortgage fraud is defined as knowingly giving a false written statement with reference to a residential mortgage loan, with the intention of committing fraud. The criminal code lists 5 offenses related to residential mortgage fraud.  They are residential mortgage fraud in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth degrees. The particular crime that you will face depends upon the dollar amount of money that was received as a result of the fraudulent act. The least serious of the 5 charges is residential mortgage fraud in the fifth degree.  This is the only one of them that is a misdemeanor.  You could be charged under New York Penal Law § 187.05 with residential mortgage fraud in the fifth degree if you commit residential mortgage fraud and the dollar amount involved is $1000 or less.

For the purposes of the residential mortgage fraud statute, the term “residential real property,” refers to real estate that has been improved by the construction of a 1 to 4 family dwelling. If you take out a mortgage on undeveloped land which you intend to improve by building a residence, that property would not be considered residential real property according to this statute.

Offenses that are Related

Residential mortgage fraud in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 187.10

Residential mortgage fraud in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 187.15

Residential mortgage fraud in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 187.20

Residential mortgage fraud in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 187.25

Possible Defenses

The prosecutor  cannot convict you of residential mortgage fraud in the fifth degree if 

  1. the false statement you allegedly made was not related to any material fact, 
  2. you did not “knowingly” provide the false statement, or 
  3. you did not have any intention to defraud.

Moreover, under New York Penal Law § 187.01, if you are applying for a residential mortgage loan or you intend to reside in the residence that you are taking a mortgage out to secure, you cannot be prosecuted for the crime of residential mortgage fraud.

The Sentence

As stated above, residential mortgage fraud in the fifth degree is categorized as a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this crime, the judge could send you to jail for up to a year. You may also get a probation sentence of up to 3 years and be obligated to pay a fine.

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