In the state of Georgia, there has been an increase in the rate at which people are charged for committing mortgage fraud. State prosecutors take these charges seriously and frequently seek strict penalties. The consequences of being convicted of mortgage fraud can include having your license revoked as well as increased difficulty in obtaining employment. If you are charged with mortgage fraud, it is critical to obtain the assistance of strong legal counsel to assist with your case.
Types of Mortgage Fraud
There are several types of activities that can result in a person facing mortgage fraud.
Some of the most common types of these activities include the following:
- Appraisal Fraud: Included in this category is when an appraiser falsely reports the value of a home.
- Equity Skimming: This category includes a property owner who is forced to sign over a deed so that the property can be rescued from foreclosure.
- Flipping Properties: This activity involves purchasing and reselling property based on appraisals that are not genuine.
- Fraud for Housing: Included in this category are property owners who are charged with not correctly representing their income or other financial details to qualify for a mortgage.
- Occupancy Fraud: This behavior occurs when a person deceptively claims that they will reside at a property but they actually rent the property to someone else.
- Straw Buyers: This category includes people who use a fraudulent borrower who has good credit to hide the identity of the actual borrower who often has bad credit and would not qualify for a mortgage loan.
Defenses to Mortgage Fraud Charges
Mortgage fraud cases often rely on knowing misrepresentation concerning a mortgage in a person’s possession. Some of the strongest defenses that people are able to raise in response to these charges include arguing that the mortgage holder did not falsely report financial details, a strawman who bought a mortgage was subject to deceit from another party, or proving that an appraisal was not fraudulent.
Penalties Associated With Georgia Mortgage Fraud
The penalties that are associated with mortgage fraud depend on the type of crime that was committed. Repeat offenses tend to result in more severe penalties than first time offenders. In 2005, the state of Georgia increased the penalties associated with mortgage fraud, and this type of fraudulent activity is now considered a felony offense. Being convicted of mortgage fraud in some cases can result in a person facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Speak with a Georgia Mortgage Fraud Attorney
Being charged with mortgage fraud often results in a person facing particularly strict penalties. The legal counsel at Shein and Brandenburg has significant experience in creating strong legal defenses for persons charged with mortgage fraud. After a free case evaluation, our legal counsel will help you review your potential strategies in responding to the charge. Contact our law office today to begin creating a powerful response to your mortgage fraud charge.