Does the Government Suspect a Problem with Your Mortgage?

When you buy or sell a home in North Carolina, you typically have no choice but to navigate a sometimes complicated process to bring your prospective deal to a close. You may only have firsthand experience of this on the buyer's end or you may earn your living (perhaps even own a business) as a broker, appraiser or mortgage lender.

Any number of issues can cause significant obstacles, delays or legal problems at some point between the listing of a particular home or property on the market and the final sale. If your situation comes under scrutiny for suspected fraud, things may get a lot worse before they get better. The key to overcoming such problems is to know your rights ahead of time and to make sure you have a strong support network set up that you can quickly tap into if needed.

Mortgage fraud facts and available support:

Any unlawful action that intentionally misrepresents or misstates mortgage documents is subject to possible criminal charges as a white collar crime. If someone accuses you or arrests you on suspicion of such crimes, it does not necessarily mean you are going to jail. Generally speaking, however, you'll definitely have your work cut out for you to try to avoid conviction. The following information might be helpful to your particular circumstances:

  • You've likely heard the phrase that it takes two to tango; it also takes two (or more) to commit mortgage fraud. There must be a transaction between someone providing information to aid in the sale of a home or property and someone receiving the information and relying on it to close a deal.
  • Although you may not see the words mortgage fraud in federal statutes pertaining to the topic, you might see such crimes listed as conspiracy to commit fraud, bank fraud or wire fraud.
  • Either party (seller or buyer) is capable of committing mortgage fraud.
  • There are two main categories under which the law addresses mortgage fraud, one where those committing deceit are trying to qualify for loans and the other where those engaged on the selling side of the mortgage deal (appraisers or brokers) falsified information to gain profit.
  • There are certain types of transactions, such as flipping, that aren't necessarily illegal unless someone misrepresents information pertaining to the value of the property -- a false appraisal of the value of a home that someone recently purchased and is trying to quickly turn a profit by reselling is an example of illegal flipping.

If you face criminal charges for mortgage fraud in North Carolina, you may also be at risk for a civil lawsuit as well. Investment collusion, loan documentation falsification and all other situations where parties do not fully disclose necessary information regarding income, property value or any other aspect of the mortgage process can trigger aggressive investigation and penalties if prosecutors file charges and succeed in obtaining convictions. This is why most people facing such charges rely on experienced criminal defense attorneys to advocate on their behalves in court.