Owning a home or some other piece of real estate is often seen as a cornerstone of the American Dream. However, in the modern real estate market, buying real estate of nearly any kind usually involves securing a mortgage loan to finalize the purchase. If some party in the mortgage process abuses the process, it may result in mortgage fraud charges.

Mortgage fraud generally entails two kinds of violations — either some form of fraud intended to result in better housing terms for the buyer, or fraud that enriches some party in the mortgage process. These kinds of violations can arise in a number of ways.

One of the most common types of fraud involves falsifying documentation in order to receive preferable mortgage terms, or to qualify for a loan at all. If a buyer or a buyer and another party collude to create a paper trail of documentation that alters the appearance of factors that govern how a mortgage lender considers the terms it offers applicants, this may lead to mortgage fraud charges. However, it is important to remember that a mistake is not generally considered fraud. You may accidentally draw mortgage fraud charges if you don’t take specific care to double check all of the information you submit in an application.

Similarly, if some party involved in securing the mortgage or appraising the home manipulates the system to enrich him or herself, this may result in mortgage fraud charges. These charges range in severity, but can lead to very serious consequences. In some cases, mortgage fraud can even qualify as a felony.

If you have concerns about the legitimacy of your mortgage process, or if you face mortgage fraud charges already, an experienced defense attorney can help you understand your options for building a strong defense. Professional guidance can help you prepare a strong defense and protect your opportunities, while you resolve the conflict standing between you and your piece of the American Dream.

Source: Findlaw, “Mortgage Fraud,” accessed Oct. 27, 2017