Mortgage fraud is a very serious offense that can result in severe financial penalties even criminal charges. If you or someone you love faces mortgage fraud charges, or suspect you may soon, it is important to fully understand which laws you potentially violated so that you can build a strong defense and clear up the matter as soon as possible.

One of the most heavily referenced laws that governs mortgage fraud is the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA). Under FERA, federal agencies that investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud have broad reach to hand down exceptionally harsh sentencing that can essentially end your career and your life as you know it. In extreme cases, individuals found guilty of violating FERA may face fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years of jail time.

FERA identifies two general categories of mortgage fraud, involving fraud for housing and fraud for profit. If a person commits fraud for housing, he or she may have falsified information in the property purchasing process to receive favorable mortgage terms. If a person commits fraud for profit, it usually means that some party facilitating the purchase of the property manipulates the process for greater personal gain.

Before you make any unwise moves to cover up your potential wrongdoing, beware of taking any actions that may make you look more guilty than you are. In many cases, the actions a person takes to avoid looking guilty only make him or her look guiltier. It is wiser to carefully consider the specifics of your case and build a strong legal defense while keeping the matter to yourself. With careful planning and attention, you can work to keep your rights and freedom protected from mortgage fraud charges.

Source: FindLaw, “Mortgage Fraud,” accessed March 30, 2018