Fort Lauderdale Mortgage Fraud
As the economy continues to experience its sudden dips and climbs, and the housing market rests uneasily on a shaky foundation, incidents of mortgage fraud continue at an alarming rate. This is not just a local or even a state issue; this has become a national crisis. The FBI has created the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, setting up offices throughout the country, including three offices in Florida, which has the highest incidence of mortgage fraud in the United States. (1)
Mortgage fraud has increased by more than 400 percent, according to some analysts, making this white-collar crime one of the fastest growing. The term “mortgage fraud” encompasses a number of activities in relation to home mortgages, including, but not limited to:
- Ponzi schemes
- Property flips
- Double sales
- Air loans
- Straw buyer schemes
- Builder bailouts
- Buy and bail tactics
- Foreclosure rescue scams
- Short sale fraud
- Reverse mortgage scams
- Fraudulent HUD-1 settlement statements
- Early release of funds by closing agent
- Illegal kickbacks by sellers to buyers
Mortgage fraud is also a part of organized crime activities, such as wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and mail fraud a list of charges that can result in sentences of up to 30 years in prison, if convicted. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is being investigated for mortgage fraud in Broward County, including the cities of Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines and other areas, contact Broward mortgage fraud lawyers immediately to discuss the details of your case.
The FBI and the federal government have taken a very hard stance on mortgage fraud, likening it to a form of bank robbery, where the bank is unaware of the theft for months or even years. Then, the bank is left with a significantly deflated property and a large financial loss. Multiply this by hundreds, perhaps thousands of loans acquired in this fashion, and its easy to imagine a once-strong financial institution quickly reduced to ruins. This continues to happen at a high rate, several years after the mortgage crisis began.
Mortgage fraud is often a conscious act, involving insiders who know how to manipulate the system. However, sometimes the person or persons accused of mortgage fraud did not intend to commit a criminal act. Perhaps he or she unintentionally misled lenders without a true understanding of the consequences. Despite the ignorance of the accused, the act is a federal crime and can hold serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is being investigated for mortgage fraud in Miami-Dade or Broward County, you should immediately seek the aid of a Fort Lauderdale Mortgage Fraud Attorney to defend your case and protect your rights.
Hassett & Associates, P.A. represents mortgage fraud arrest clients in Broward County and its major cities and areas, including Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines.
1. Fannie Mae Fraud Findings Statistics, Feb 2011: