Mortgage fraud generally refers to illegal schemes and misrepresentation of data on mortgage documents. Lying on the forms or impersonating someone else on the forms could result in severe penalties. Mortgage fraud can be carried out for housing purposes or monetary purposes. The sentencing depends on what type of mortgage fraud has been committed.
The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) was passed in 2009 to reduce the amount of mortgage fraud in the United States. Under this Act, the sentencing for mortgage fraud is pretty severe. Being found guilty under the FERA could result in $1 million in fines or up to 30 years in prison. When mortgage fraud takes place, states might divide the defendant's crimes into other categories. Conspiracy, wire fraud and tax fraud are a few charges that you may also face along with mortgage fraud charges.
Some common forms of mortgage fraud include showing fake loan documents, selling at falsely inflated values, using a stolen identity, equity skimming and straw buyers. States have created statutes to deal with mortgage fraud laws. In some cases, it is treated as a misdemeanor, but you could also face a class B felony charge depending on the offense. If the fraud committed is beyond state lines, the federal government gets involved. Federal sentencing for mortgage fraud is severe as compared to state laws.
Being charged with mortgage fraud is complicated, especially if the federal government is involved. If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, it is advisable to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. The attorney will assess your situation and help you devise a defense strategy.