Mortgage and real estate fraud cases are complex and often involve stacks of financial documents and paper trails. Getting to the bottom of a mortgage fraud case requires a sophisticated knowledge of real estate law, banking, and criminal defense.
If you find yourself under investigation for this serious charge, you will want someone who has experience defending appraisers, real estate companies, buyers and sellers, realtors, appraisers, individual mortgage brokers and the mortgage companies where they work.If your case is going to a criminal trial in Florida state or federal court, you want to feel confident that it is being handled by an experienced trial lawyer.
Mortgage fraud defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman has won hundreds of criminal jury trials. He personally handles every trial case at The Hoffman Firm. You can see examples of his work in the ‘most recent victories’ section of this website.
Since there is no specific statute in federal law for mortgage fraud crimes, prosecutors use an array of existing criminal statutes. The Hoffman Firm defends the interests of businesses and employees within those businesses who face charges that might include:
- Fake loans and fraudulent signatures on loan documents;
- False appraisals;
- Fraudulent foreclosure prevention schemes;
- Obstruction of justice; and
- Related charges such as conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, forgery, identity theft, money laundering, and tax evasion.
You may have been called to give testimony before a grand jury, or have an inkling that you’re being targeted by law enforcement officials for mortgage fraud. This is an important time to reach out to a defense lawyer.
With these fraud investigations, many times a large dragnet by authorities catches people with incidental roles. You might have been involved without your consent, as well. It’s easy for someone not to realize that they have incriminated themselves when talking to law enforcement officials.
If you have a dedicated and skilled attorney by your side, it is possible to lessen your charges or have them dropped altogether. Plea deals can be made with prosecutors, too, resulting in less jail time. Please call The Hoffman Firm at for your free consultation. This firm serves the Miami-Dade County area and surrounding regions.
- Mortgage fraud defined by federal law
- Mortgage fraud under Florida law
- Penalties for a mortgage fraud conviction
- More information on mortgage fraud and other white-collar crime
Mortgage Fraud Defined by Federal Law
There is no specific federal statute governing mortgage fraud; however, federal statutes defining fraud and other white collar crimes may be applied by the prosecution. Generally, a person can commit mortgage fraud one of a few ways under federal law. This includes the following:
- Using mail or electronic wiring services to aid in committing or attempting mortgage fraud;
- Using a false social security number or other identifying information to obtain a mortgage on false pretenses;
- Intentionally over-valuing a parcel of land or an asset to obtain a mortgage through misrepresentation; or
- Knowingly misrepresenting, misstating, or omitting material information to receive a mortgage from a lender.
Mortgage Fraud Defined by Florida Law
Although there is no specific federal statute governing mortgage fraud, prosecutors may use a combination of existing fraud laws including Florida’s mortgage fraud statute. Florida Code §817.545(2)(a) through (c) states:
A person is guilty of mortgage fraud if, with the intent to defraud, he or she knowingly commits any of the following acts:
- Makes any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omits information during the mortgage lending process with intent that the misrepresentation or omission will be relied upon by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party involved in the lending process;
- Omissions with regard to employment, income, or assets for a loan not requiring this information is not a material omission.
- Uses or facilitates the use of any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omits information during the mortgage lending process with intent that the misrepresentation or omission be relied upon by any individual involved in the lending process;
- Receives any proceeds or funds connected with the mortgage lending process that the person knew resulted from a violation of section (a) or (b); or
- Files or causes a document to be filed with the clerk of the circuit court for any county of Florida involved in the mortgage lending process which contains a material misstatement or omission.
Penalties for a Mortgage Fraud Conviction
Penalties for a federal mortgage fraud conviction will vary greatly depending on the amount of money in question, the district court, and a variety of other facts. However, in most cases, a mortgage fraud conviction may result in up to 30 years imprisonment and/or a maximum of $1,000,000 in fines.
More Information on Mortgage Fraud
Stop Fraud.Gov- This federal side aims at education individuals to prevent mortgage fraud, loan, and related fraud.
National Crime Prevention Resources- This national organization provides information on where to report complaints and scams.
At the South Florida law office of The Hoffman Firm, Evan A. Hoffman has received acclaim for his victories in the courtroom and the tenacity with which he fights for his clients. He will look at your case as a new challenge, and will work with you to develop a promising defense.
If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, you are at risk of lengthy prison time, expensive fees, and losing your freedom altogether. Criminal defense attorney, Evan A. Hoffman can help you get your life back on track.
If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, contact The Hoffman Firm online or call us at (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free initial consultation. The Hoffman Firm serves clients from Miami, North Miami, Palm Beach, and several other surrounding areas.