Mortgages are sometimes the biggest loans that a person will take out in a lifetime. The influx of money, even if it is earmarked for a house, can sometimes tempt people to do things that they wouldn't normally do. When there are untruths made during the process of obtaining a mortgage, it might be possible to face criminal charges for mortgage fraud.
Interestingly, home buyers aren't the only people who can commit mortgage fraud. In some cases, brokers and other people involved in the process might use false information to get a fraudulent loan. This is also criminal activity.
Mortgage fraud is divided into two categories -- fraud for profit and fraud for housing. If a person who is involved in the mortgage business is the one committing fraud, this is fraud for profit. If the person who is committing the fraud is the one purchasing the house, it is fraud for housing.
The circumstances of mortgage fraud vary greatly. Each step of the process provides ample room for fraud. Not using accurate information, such as overstating income and assets, is fraud. Lying about the borrower's identity is fraud. Inflated appraisals, straw buyers, false credit reports and equity skimming are some of the more common mortgage fraud methods.
If you are facing criminal charges for mortgage fraud, there is probably a considerable amount of evidence to wade through. This means that you need ample time to work on a defense, so don't delay getting started. Mortgage fraud charges can be difficult to defend against, so be sure you take the time necessary to build up your case.
Source: FindLaw, "Mortgage Fraud," accessed Jan. 13, 2017