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Make sure the mortgage process is on the up and up

Mortgage fraud is a very serious matter that isn't usually ignored. Whether you are applying for a mortgage or trying to work with someone to get them one, you have to ensure that every statement you make is factual.

There are a few different types of mortgage fraud that can occur. Each of them is just as bad as the others.

Lying on a mortgage application is illegal. Every statement made, including the applicant names, income and assets, must be fully factual. Making any misstatements can land you in prison for mortgage fraud if the statement was made with the intent to defraud.

Silent second loans are illegal. You can't obtain a smaller loan to cover the down payment on the primary mortgage unless you let the initial lender know that you are taking the loan out.

Identity fraud is another big issue with mortgages. Everyone involved in the mortgage must be accurately represented. Any incorrect information can lead to serious charges that might prove difficult to fight.

Mortgage fraud has two primary purposes -- housing or profit. For housing means that the person applying for the loan is the one who is making fraudulent statements. For profit means that a person who is involved in the issuance of the loan is committing the fraud in an effort to make a profit.

In all of these cases, you must work hard on your defense. There is often a considerable paper trail that the prosecution might be relying on for their case. This means that you are in an interesting position since you will have to try to refute documented evidence.

Source: FindLaw, "Mortgage Fraud," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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