For anyone facing mortgage fraud charges in Georgia, it would be a good idea to consult an experienced Atlanta mortgage fraud attorney. Prosecutors are ready to pounce on any opportunity they can find to prove a mortgage fraud case.
A recent case is instructive: two Georgia men pled guilty to reverse mortgage fraud and each now face possible thirty-year sentences.
Reverse mortgages were designed to financially help senior citizens who have a lot of equity in their homes. There are two types of reverse mortgage:
- In a “refi-reverse,” a lender gives the homeowner money in exchange for equity in the home.
- In a “purchase money reverse,” the homeowner gets money from the lender toward the purchase of a new home.
Here is how these men committed fraud using both of these types of reverse mortgage:
First, they faked the required down payments needed to establish a purchase money reverse. They did it by using fake “gift” letters from “relatives” of the homeowners. They also used fake “HUD-1” Settlement Statements to “document” the sale of non-existent assets.
The down payments were paid by the defendants, and returned to them disguised as seller proceeds or as lien payoffs. The defendants also took profits that were far more than the true value of the properties.
All the fraudulent reverse mortgages involved inflated appraisals. One of the defendants stole realtors’ identities and created fake property listings that supported the fraudulent appraisals.
They also committed refi-reverse mortgage fraud by putting properties into senior citizens’ names and getting refi-reverses at inflated amounts.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 16.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, “Lithonia men guilty of reverse mortgage fraud,” April 9, 2010