Federal Mortgage Fraud Defense Lawyer
When it comes to mortgage fraud in Los Angeles, it's probably one of the biggest areas in the country where people are committing fraudulent activities related to a home or a mortgage.
There's a variety of different ways that somebody can commit fraud and depending on how severe and sophisticated the authorities determine the fraud is, and the amount of the loss that is involved, that will dictate how harshly they prosecute the case, what type of penalties they're looking for and what the impact will be to the person who allegedly committed the mortgage insurance fraud.
Mortgage Fraud Scams
One of the biggest mortgage fraud scams was done in the early 2000's where banks were really involved and basically, where allowing people to get any type of information in order to get a loan for a mortgage, instead of verifying things – and this is what caused the mortgage industry to collapse, and this was also a situation that was ripe with fraud, where even the bank personnel were encouraging people to lie about how much money they made, submit fraudulent paperwork.
Some of the bank employees would get involved in schemes and scams related to approving loans knowing that likely the mortgage would never be paid. The problem is, if there are no restrictions put in place, then, unfortunately, unscrupulous people will attempt to take advantage of the system, and that's what happened in the early 2000's causing the mortgage crash.
Now the restrictions are obviously very tight and harsh, and it's very difficult to get a loan unless you have a lot of equity and you have a good debt to income ratio. So, if you're charged with some sort of mortgage fraud, you're going to want to find a defense attorney who's done these cases before and knows how to handle them.
Sometimes everything is not what meets the eye. Sometimes there's another story to what happened. It's not necessarily the fault of the person who is being charged as to what happened and there may be other people involved. The authorities may not have the full picture. They may not have the full story.
Mortgage Fraud Cases are Complex
Unfortunately, what I see a lot of times – especially in these mortgage fraud cases which can be a little bit complicated – they don't look at every angle. They just get some evidence, get some information from somebody – they're busy, they're overworked, they don't fully investigate the case, and therefore, they jump to conclusions and start prosecuting people before they have all the information.
So, what we do in these mortgage fraud cases is we sit down with a client and go over everything and we get their version of events. If their version of events is, yeah, I did it, I'm guilty, then obviously we're going to do damage control. We're going to figure out what we can do to get the best result under those circumstances.
If, on the other hand, there's another side to the story, then we're going to sit down and break that whole thing out, we're going to get your version of events and then we're going to get evidence through investigation to support your version of events, so that if we are going to go to trial on a mortgage fraud case, we're going to have the evidence, not only to present to the jury but to attack the prosecution's witnesses to show that they're not reliable and not credible, because being able to do this gives us a good fighting chance to win a jury trial case in a mortgage fraud situation.
Local Connections Are Crucial In Mortgage Fraud Cases
What I mean by this is that you want to have an attorney who has dealt with the prosecutors who prosecute these mortgage fraud cases in the courthouse where your case is pending, who has dealt with the judge, who knows the judge's tendencies, and also who knows the jury pool.
If you're going to go to jury trial, you better know what type of jurors you're going to get and what type of defense strategy you're going to employ if you want to have a chance to win. If, on the other hand, you're not going to go to the jury trial – which most cases don't go to the jury trial – especially in mortgage fraud cases – because a lot of times the prosecutors have the evidence.
You're going to want somebody who knows the ropes in the courthouse where your case is pending because that person is going to have to negotiate with the prosecutors, the upper prosecutors, possibly the judge depending on the scenario that's going on – so local connections are crucial when it comes to any criminal case, but particularly mortgage fraud cases which are usually prosecuted by more sophisticated prosecutors who have been around the block, have authority and have seen these types of cases before and will actually listen to a good defense attorney who is going to give them the other point of view.
Give them a peek at the client from a different perspective with character letters and a number of other different things that can be utilized in order to get you the best possible result when it comes to a mortgage fraud case.
Types of Mortgage Fraud Cases
There are all types of different mortgage fraud and real estate fraud cases that I've seen over the course of the last twenty-five years of dealing with these cases. Whether it has to do with straw buyers or people inflating their income or manipulating their paperwork, or I've even seen people who have stopped making their mortgage payments and then go into foreclosure and then end up having somebody buy the house on the back end.
There are all sorts of different schemes and scams that people get themselves involved with, and obviously the government is going to take this type of activity very seriously and these cases can be prosecuted and you can be looking at serving time in prison, a record for the rest of your life, so you really want to sit down with an attorney who has done this before and get a game plan together that makes sense for you and your situation.
This is not something that you just do the same thing every time. When I design these defenses, I'm designing them for the person. What happened? What's their criminal record look like? Why did they get themselves involved with this? How much money was lost? Can we pay the money back? There are all sorts of different considerations that need to be taken into account, and obviously, the person that you want considering them and discussing it with you is someone who has been down this road before and had success.
Consult with Los Angeles Mortgage Fraud Attorney
At the Hedding Law Firm, we understand that sometimes good people are put in bad situations. California has been one of the most hardest-hit states in the real estate market meltdown because of overinflated home values over the years. In response, the state enacted a bill that requires that lenders contact already stressed out homeowners about their intent to foreclosure 30 days before filing a Notice of Default. Thus, much of California's mortgage fraud has been caused by either applicants or brokers lying on mortgage applications.
Mortgage fraud and foreclosure fraud scams occur when someone knowingly and intentionally misrepresents information in the attempt to obtain a mortgage. It can carry a wide range of penalties depending on the value of the mortgage fraudulently obtained as well as the number of actual incidents involved. Possible Penalties include jail time, probation, large fines and fees, restitution, and forfeiture of property.
Mortgage fraud has several different components to it and the prosecutor has to prove that the misrepresentation was done intentionally and knowingly for illegal personal gain.
Although there are different types of mortgage fraud schemes, there are really two different types of mortgage fraud. Traditional mortgage frauds involve defrauding the lender, such as trying to obtain a loan one cannot legitimately qualify for. Other mortgage frauds target consumers, such as foreclosure prevention or loan modification scams in which one tries to defraud homeowners who are in financial trouble.
In California, the penalties are quite severe. Fines range anywhere from $100,000-$250,000; jail time anywhere from 12-78 months; probation up to 30 years.
There are different parts of the mortgage fraud investigation an aggressive and experienced defense attorney can challenge. At Hedding Law Firm, a criminal defense lawyer has the experience and the skill to effectively fight a mortgage fraud case. Contact a Los Angeles mortgage fraud lawyer at our law firm today and let us fight for you.