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Mortgage fraud: A serious crime that can draw federal charges

Fraud is a federal and state crime, and participating it can leave you in hot water with the law. There are many different kinds of fraud, but one thing remains the same among all cases: You must have intended to defraud someone in order to be convicted.

If you're charged with fraud, your attorney can listen to your case and help you understand what is likely to happen next. If you're accused of mortgage fraud, here are a few things you should know.

Mortgage fraud is a white collar crime that can be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Mortgage fraud is also a type of Financial Institution Fraud (FIF). This crime takes place when someone omits details, misrepresents or misstates information that a lender uses to determine if that person receives the loan.

Whether you lie to make your income sound higher, lie to make it seem low enough for reduced payoff amounts or make false claims to gain different repayment terms, you're participating in mortgage fraud. You may be charged for fraud for profit or fraud for housing. Fraud for profit cases are more serious to the FBI and tend to be investigated as a priority.

What kinds of fraud could you do that would trigger charges? Flipping a house and getting it appraised with a false appraisal to make a higher sale than you should is one kind. Others involve skimming equity or manipulating the property's value to obtain loans.

If you're accused of this kind of fraud, your attorney can help. With the right documents and a strong defense, you can make sure your side of the story is heard in court.

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