Mortgage fraud is a serious criminal offense punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. Because prosecutors had difficulty proving the difference between an honest mistake and an intentionally false statement on a mortgage application, few people were charged with mortgage fraud in Texas. The number of prosecutions increased dramatically as reports of widespread fraud in the mortgage industry came to light in 2008.
Texas criminal statutes defines mortgage fraud as making a materially false or misleading statement on a mortgage application with the intent of misleading or deceiving the lender. Examples of fraudulent conduct might include:
Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code is the state’s fraud crimes law that prosecutors rely upon when charging individuals who commit mortgage fraud. Besides the applicant who lies or misrepresents the information on a mortgage loan application submitted to a lender, others who can be charged and punished for committing mortgage fraud include:
Anyone providing false or misleading information about the buyer, the property or any material aspect of a real estate transaction in order to assist someone to obtain a mortgage could be charged with mortgage fraud.
The crime of mortgage fraud can range in severity from a Class C misdemeanor to a felony of the first degree depending upon the value of the subject of the fraudulent conduct. The offenses and penalties imposed upon conviction include:
It’s tempting to get excited when buying a home and lie on a mortgage application. Unfortunately, there are severe consequences for doing so. If you are in this predicament, then you need to reach out to Rand Mintzer by calling 713-862-8880.