In Michigan, mortgage fraud is a serious charge and requires a serious attorney. Under Michigan’s recently new laws, a person convicted of mortgage fraud could be looking at a 20-year felony. It is important that you contact an experience mortgage fraud attorney who is willing to do what it takes to give you the best possible defense.
Proving Mortgage Fraud
In order to be convicted of mortgage fraud, the prosecutor must prove that you knowingly and intentionally did any of the following acts during your mortgage lending process:
(1) You made a false statement, misrepresentation, or concealed a material fact
(2) You used a false pretense
(3) You received money due to false statements or false pretenses
(4) You filed a document with the register of deeds that you know contained a material misstatement
(5) You failed to disburse funds as agreed upon at closing.
The “mortgage lending process” can include transactions that occurred during the application phase, the origination phase, the underwriting phase, the negotiation phase, or any other time during the process of obtaining a mortgage loan. It is important to understand that EACH violation is a separate offense. So, if you made a false statement and failed to disburse funds, and filed a fraudulent document, you will be charged with THREE separate mortgage fraud offenses.
Penalties for Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud is a criminal felony and the penalties vary depending on the value of the property at issue during the time the fraud took place. Some common penalties include:
(1) If the value of the property is below $100,000 you could face a 15-year felony and fines up to $100,000.00.
(2) If the value of the property is above $100,000 you could face a 20-year felony and fines up to $500,000.00.
The statute of limitations to bring a mortgage fraud charge against someone is quite long. A charge must be brought within 10 years after the offense was committed or within 10 years after the instrument affecting real property (title or deed) was recorded, whichever time frame occurs later.
If you have been charged with federal crime, such as money laundering in the Oakland, Wayne or Macomb County communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Warren, Troy or any surrounding area and want the best defense, call Michigan Criminal Attorney Barton Morris at (248) 541-2600. Mr. Morris was recently voted Top Attorney in Metro Detroit for 2012 and 2013 in the area of criminal defense.