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Mortgage Fraud Solicitors

If you have been accused of mortgage fraud, it is vital to seek legal advice from specialist mortgage fraud solicitors, as soon as possible.

Mortgage fraud investigations can lead to prosecutions which, if they result in a conviction, could end in a prison sentence. Getting the right legal advice from an experienced mortgage fraud solicitor, as early on as possible, could make a real difference to the outcome of your case.

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Robbery carries a maximum prison sentence of life imprisonment. However, depending on the facts of the case, a successful prosecution could result in anything from a community order to a prison sentence.

What is mortgage fraud?

Mortgage fraud is the act of obtaining a mortgage by providing the lender with false information, either in order to get a loan or in order to get a larger loan than you may have been offered.

As well as providing the lender with false information, mortgage fraud can also be committed by omitting information on a mortgage application.

Mortgage fraud always involves some form of deception during the sale or purchase of a property.

Mortgage fraud can be broadly split into two categories:

  1. Misrepresentation of income or the value of the property, in order to receive a larger loan
  2. Criminal groups working together to overvalue properties and obtain mortgages with fake identities (with no intention of ever paying the mortgage back)

What are examples of mortgage fraud?

Many people who are committing mortgage fraud are unaware that they are doing it. While there are criminals who work together to defraud mortgage companies, many individuals commit the crime without even realising it.

– Omitting information on mortgage applications

Failing to disclose other financial obligations, such as loans from other providers, is a typical example of mortgage fraud.

Many people believe that omitting information on a mortgage application does not constitute mortgage fraud. However, failing to provide information (such as any other loans you have), could result in you being investigated for mortgage fraud.

In some instances, people attempt to avoid higher buy-to-let mortgage rates by failing to tell a lender that the property is for rental to tenants, rather than them buying the property to live in it. This also constitutes mortgage fraud.

– Providing false information on mortgage applications

Exaggerating income when applying for a mortgage is a typical example of mortgage fraud. This is the case even if the person making the application believes that they can still easily pay the monthly amount back, despite their lower income.

Sometimes, people will commit mortgage fraud by lying about their employment situation in order to obtain a mortgage.

Lying about anything from your marital status to your address on a mortgage application is also considered to be mortgage fraud.

Sometimes, criminals submit completely fake loan applications to mortgage lenders in order to obtain the money.

Providing false documentation to a mortgage lender

Over the last decade or so, it has become increasingly easy to get hold of high-quality false documentation online. As such, it has become more tempting for those applying for a mortgage to seek false documentation, such as proof of income, in order to obtain the loan they want.

However, giving a mortgage lender false documentation in order to obtain a mortgage is a type of mortgage fraud.

As well as individuals committing mortgage fraud, professional criminals work together to exaggerate the value of a property in order to obtain larger mortgages. Typically, this type of mortgage fraud needs a group of professionals in the property sector to work together to commit the fraud, such as solicitors, surveyors and property valuers.

Organised crime groups also use mortgage fraud as a way to launder money which they have obtained from criminal activities, such as drug dealing.

What is a mortgage fraud investigation?

If a mortgage company suspects that you have committed mortgage fraud, they can open up a mortgage fraud investigation. As part of this, you are likely to be questioned.

As well as the borrower, mortgage fraud investigations can also include professionals involved in the property transaction, such as solicitors, surveyors and estate agents.

If you become the subject of a mortgage fraud investigation, it is vital that you contact a solicitor experienced in this area of law, as soon as possible. Mortgage fraud can be a highly complex area of law and having an experienced solicitor on your side from the start, who can untangle the complex paperwork trails which often go hand in hand with this type of case, can make a real difference to the outcome.

Can you get away with mortgage fraud?

Many people who attempt to defraud a mortgage lender are ultimately found out.

As well as normal credit checks, mortgage lenders may carry out various other different checks to ensure that a mortgage application is not fraudulent. For example, lenders can cross check the information they have received from an applicant with HMRC.

Circumstances which may alert a lender to potential mortgage fraud include a deposit paid by a third party and multiple remortgages and sales of the same property.

What is the sentence for mortgage fraud?

Not all convictions for mortgage fraud will result in a prison sentence. The lender’s motivation is to get their money back.

The least serious type of mortgage fraud is when the applicant is accused of making a false statement in order to obtain a mortgage for their house. This could be to do with, for example, how much they earn. In this instance, even if the applicant is charged with mortgage fraud (sometimes the applicant will not be charged), a prison sentence upon conviction is not likely.

Where the conviction is for conspiracy to defraud, a prison sentence upon conviction may be more likely, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Why do I need a specialist mortgage fraud solicitor?

Being convicted of mortgage fraud can have a serious impact on your professional reputation and personal life.

If you are accused of mortgage fraud, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a solicitor experienced in this area of law, as quickly as possible. This way, your solicitor can advise and guide you throughout the process and work with you to review the evidence and build a robust defence, right from the start.


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