Loan Fraud Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles
Any criminal charge can have a devastating impact on your life, and loan fraud is no exception. Being labeled as a “fraud” can make people view you as mistrustful. That may end up hurting not just your reputation, but also your relationships, your ability to purchase property, and your ability to seek future employment.
Thankfully, the attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP understand this struggle, and how best to combat loan fraud charges. If you or a loved one has been accused of loan fraud, then you will need the best possible legal team to help you and your case. Contact us now at (213) 688-0460 and find out why we are considered some of the best criminal defense attorneys in California.
Loan fraud covers a wide variety of crimes that deal with real estate such as misrepresentation, misstatement, and omission to the lender or underwriter. These acts are often done in order to get a better loan (or even a loan that you could never afford). Ultimately, there are many ways to commit loan and mortgage fraud. Some of the most common ways include:
- Lying on a mortgage application, as a way to get a better mortgage. Many people falsify documents that say that they make more money than they do. They may also find a way to falsify their credit report so that they can get a lower interest rate.
- People can also falsify information for a co-signer for their mortgage loan. They may steal information or even forge signatures, in order to get a loan that they wouldn't be able to get without help.
- People who flip homes can also be accused of loan fraud. They may buy a piece of property that has a lot of problems. Instead of fixing the problems and charging more, they may lie about all of the improvements and fixes that they have made.
- Real estate professionals can also be involved in loan fraud. They may pay part of a down payment in order for their clients to get the loan. They may also coach their clients to help them get a loan.
- Other professionals can claim to help homeowners but don't. Instead, they may just take their money and run. They often prey on those who are close to losing their homes.
Real estate fraud may include any type of dishonest act resulting in unjustified enrichment related to the purchasing, selling, renting, financing, and valuation of property. These are serious infractions and strict state and federal laws and penalties may apply, including grand theft, foreclosure fraud, and filing forged documents. Examples of real estate fraud include:
- Mortgage fraud encompasses schemes to obtain a mortgage using false information or a false identity.
- Rent skimming occurs when the owner of a residential property receives rent from tenants but fails to apply the rent towards the mortgage, causing delinquency and foreclosure.
- Using false appraisals for property flipping.
- Straw buyer schemes. Secretly buying a home on behalf of an unqualified buyer.
- Predatory lending by using excessive and unjustified fees.
- Foreclosure fraud. Pretending to help people who are facing foreclosure by taking their money and not providing agreed upon services.
Because the government closely watches mortgages and loans, you may be looking at a state or federal offense if you are convicted of loan fraud. There are many ways of being convicted of loan fraud, which means that you could be looking at different penalties. Most crimes involve fines and potential jail time.
- If you are caught submitting false statements, you could be facing fines and eight years in prison.
- If you are falsifying information on your loan or credit application, you may be facing up to one million dollars in fines and up to thirty years in prison.
No matter what type of loan fraud you are accused of you are looking at large fines and multiple years behind bars. However, that isn't all that might happen. Your entire life could change if you don't fight it.
- You may be facing probation for many years, which can really affect your ability to move around and travel.
- You are going to have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
- You are going to have to let any potential employers know that you are a convicted felon.
- You may struggle to find a place to rent or buy. You are going to have a hard time getting a mortgage with a record following you around.
- Your friends and family may look at you differently. Some might stick around during this time, while others may not.
Mortgage brokers, real estate agents, home buyers and bank officials can all be charged with mortgage fraud if the government believes you played an active role in any type of real estate scheme designed to cheat someone out of their money.
Federal prosecutors often advance their careers by aggressively pursuing mortgage fraud cases. To convict a person under federal statutes for mortgage fraud, prosecutors must prove that the defendant attempted to defraud a financial institution in order to obtain money, real estate, or some other type of assets. And if you are convicted in this type of case, an expensive civil lawsuit is likely to follow.
If you are facing federal mortgage fraud charges, you will want to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Legal defenses for mortgage fraud include:
- The statements you wrote on the loan application were true and accurate.
- You were an unknowing participant in someone else’s fraudulent behavior.
- You acted in good faith and made no attempt to defraud anyone.
- The government does not have enough evidence to prove their case.
- The people who are accusing you are not telling the truth.
The attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP know just how devastating criminal charges can impact your life. Your reputation and close relationships are likely in shambles. You may not know what to do next, or where to turn to for help. Thankfully, we have years of experience as criminal defense attorneys, and we know how to guide you through the trial process. Call us today at (213) 688-0460 so we can sit down and discuss how we can help you.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.