The mortgage industry is booming as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. However, since the economy collapsed about a decade ago, many lenders have tightened their lending standards, meaning that many everyday Ohioans are left unable to obtain a loan. Of course, these mortgage loans are only given after people submit an application which details their income and their debts. With mortgage companies facing an influx of applications, it can be hard for them to thoroughly vet all applications, which could tempt some to fudge the numbers a bit. However, under Ohio law this is considered mortgage fraud.
There are essentially two types of mortgage fraud. The first type is known as mortgage fraud for housing, whereby applicants for a mortgage falsify information in order to obtain a loan. Although most individuals accused of fraud for housing are not prosecuted for the crime, they could face unwanted consequences if they are accused of committing the offense. More specifically, these individuals could lose their loans and the houses they were hoping to buy and be subjected to being considered a subprime borrower for many years.
Some individuals face accusations of mortgage fraud for profit, though. Here, individuals are accused of inflating a property's value in order to issue a larger loan. Then, they keep the amount of loan not issued to the borrower. The penalties for a conviction on this type of charge can be significant. The exact penalties can depend on a lot of factors, including the money involved and an individual's criminal history.
Facing allegations of mortgage fraud, or any white collar crime for that matter, is nothing to take lightly. Ohioans who are accused of these types of crimes should carefully consider their criminal defense options, as failing to do so could result in seriously damaging consequences.
Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "Mortgage Fraud Schemes Are Common and Varied," accessed on April 22, 2017