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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Federal Mortgage Fraud Attorneys

In general, mortgage fraud is characterized as a form of misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in connection with a mortgage loan. In the  majority of cases, an individual commits mortgage fraud when he/she knowingly gives a false statement that impacts the bank’s decision to, for instance, approve a loan, lower a payoff amount, or agree to repayment terms. If federal agents were in the business of prosecuting accidental omissions or errors, almost 10 percent of mortgage applications would be fraudulent. It is the intent of the applicant that makes mortgage fraud a federal crime.

If you or someone you love one has been charged with, or is the target of an investigation for, mortgage fraud, it is important that you hire a federal defense lawyer who is experienced in mortgage fraud as quickly as possible. 

Federal Legislation and Potential Penalties for Mortgage Fraud

Since there are no federal statutes that directly refer to “mortgage fraud,” federal prosecutors may charge alleged offenders with other offenses, including wire fraud, bank fraud, and even conspiracy. Nevertheless, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA), enacted in 2009, extended the powers of federal law enforcement to prosecute any kinds of fraud, including mortgage fraud. Pursuant to FERA, convicted persons may be looking at sentences that include up to $1 million in fines and as much as 30 years imprisonment.

Furthermore, in the wake of the housing market collapse, the FBI and other federal agencies have expanded the legal definition to more effectively prosecute individuals who target distressed homeowners. The FBI further split fraudulent activity up into two specific areas:

  1. Fraud for Profit — A great many of fraud schemes involve industry insiders, such as mortgage brokers, bank officers, appraisers, and other professionals. When these insider individuals carry out a “Fraud for Profit” scheme, they are in the habit of misusing a stage in the mortgage process to steal cash or equity from lenders or homeowners.
  2. Fraud for Housing — In general, this form of fraud involves borrowers who carry out illegal actions to acquire or maintain ownership of a property.

Under FERA, the statute of limitations for these two forms of fraud is 10 years, and the statute of limitations can be tolled if the defendant is outside of the country.

Forms of Mortgage Fraud

In addition to the two genres of mortgage fraud detailed in the above section, the FBI has pinpointed several ways that offenders can commit fraudulent acts. These kinds of mortgage fraud are:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Property flipping — After purchasing a piece of real estate, the property is falsely appraised at a greater value and then quickly resold.
  • Inflated appraisal — An appraiser, often collaborating with a mortgage broker or loan officer, gives an unrealistically high value on a property in order to match a buyer’s offer and complete a deal.
  • Fraudulent supporting loan documentation — A loan applicant gives in altered, forged or falsified income details or otherwise fraudulent documentation
  • Straw buyers — The purchaser of property conceals his/her identity through the use of a nominee, whose name and credit history are used to make the loan application.
  • Silent second — The property owner takes out a second mortgage to finance the down payment on the first loan.
  • Equity skimming — The investor uses a straw buyer, fake credit reports, and phony documentation to get a mortgage in the straw buyer’s name. After closing, the straw buyer then signs the property over to the investor and gives up all property rights. The investor doesn’t make any payments on the property, but he or she rents it out until the property is foreclosed.

Federal agents thoroughly investigate and prosecute these kinds of schemes, on top of  many others. That said, nothing is set in stone in a mortgage fraud matter.  With the help of a qualified and expert defense attorney, there are methods by which to challenge these types of mortgage fraud charges and achieve a desired legal outcome.

Mortgage Fraud Penalty, Charges, Laws & Statute of Limitations

Mortgage fraud entails the intentional misrepresentation or omission of information to secure a mortgage loan. You may not hear a lot about mortgage fraud crime, and this is because it is such a complex crime.

There is a ton of paperwork involved with mortgage loans. Are accidental errors or misrepresentation of information fraudulent? Not necessarily, the intent is what makes errors on a mortgage loan application to be fraudulent.

A mortgage fraud case may never make it to a court because it is hard to prove that someone intentionally provided inaccurate information.

For this type of case to uphold in court, there would have to be without reasonable doubt that someone had the sole intent of lying or omitting information to receive a mortgage loan.

Fraud Enforcement and Recover Act (FERA)

The 2009 Fraud Enforcement and Recover Act (FERA) is the law that governs mortgage fraud. Within this act, there are specific prison sentencing and fines associated with mortgage fraud. The federal government instituted FERA in 2009, but each state also has its own policies governing mortgage fraud.

If someone is charged with mortgage fraud, other charges are often connected to the crime. Bankruptcy fraud and tax fraud are sometimes charges that are linked to mortgage fraud.

Who Is Charged With Mortgage Fraud?

The people that are most commonly charged with mortgage fraud are:

• Real estate agents & professionals
• Appraisers
• Real estate attorneys
• Mortgage brokers

The above list is not conclusive. An individual homebuyer or family can also be charged with mortgage fraud.

Mortgage Fraud Laws

As mentioned, mortgage fraud can be complicated. There are two different categories of mortgage fraud. They include:

• Mortgage Fraud for Housing
This type of mortgage fraud is when someone uses false or inaccurate information to receive a better interest rate or buying terms when purchasing a home.
• Mortgage Fraud for Profit

Real estate professionals can be charged with the aforementioned crime. Fraud for profit is when a real estate professional submits false or inaccurate information to receive more money and incentives from a real estate deal.

What Are The Crimes & Charges Associated With Mortgage Fraud?

To be charged with mortgage fraud, you have to intentionally submit false information to receive a mortgage loan. If there are accidental errors or mistakes, this does not qualify as a mortgage fraud crime. The problem with mortgage fraud is making the distinction between an intentional lie and an error.

It is easier to prove that a real estate professional is involved in mortgage fraud, than an individual homebuyer. Often, a real estate professional may be involved in repeated offenses which could lead to being charged with mortgage fraud. There is a possibility for federal prosecution in a mortgage fraud case. Usually, this level of prosecution is for fraud for profit cases.

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) charges can also be associated with mortgage fraud cases. Again, mortgage fraud for profit is typically the culprit for this type of charge. A RICO charge holds a severe prison punishment.

What Penalties Are Associated With Mortgage Fraud?

Serious penalties are connected to mortgage fraud. Often, mortgage fraud is not charged individually. There are multiple crimes and charges that are included in addition to the mortgage fraud charge. Mortgage fraud can exist at both the state and federal government levels.

Mortgage fraud is considered a felony. The only instance in which mortgage fraud can qualify as a misdemeanor is when financial fraud is less than $1,000.

Common penalties connected to mortgage fraud are:

• As much as 30-years in federal prison (if charged at the federal level)
• As much as 5-years in state prison (if charged at the state level).
• Significant fines, a federal charge can lead to a $1M fine. A state charge can range up to $100,000.
• Restitution of one year following a prison sentence
• The possibility of probation

Sentencing Guidelines for Mortgage Fraud

To determine mortgage fraud sentencing, the crime has to first be categorized. Mortgage fraud for profit has a more serious offense and charge than mortgage fraud for housing.

The duration of time for the crime and the amount of money involved determines the severity of the crime. A judge can also factor in additional crimes into the overall sentencing. The statute of limitations for mortgage fraud is 10-years.

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