The real estate sector in Atlanta, GA, has skyrocketed since the recession in 2008, which has opened up opportunities for asset growth and business. However, the laws regarding federal mortgages are complex. Some people have inadvertently found themselves on the wrong side of the law when it comes to mortgages.
Mortgage fraud within the real estate space is a federal crime that can have serious associated penalties. An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer from The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman can assist you in negotiating lesser penalties for your charges, working to get your charges dropped, or building up a strong defense to contest the charges against you in court.
Mortgage fraud can be committed by the lenders of the mortgage loan or the borrowers involved in the agreement. It entails lying or leaving out critical information that can be used by a person who underwrites the mortgage to either fund, buy, or insure one or more mortgage loans.
Not only in the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia but also in the United States in general, there are considered to be two main umbrellas that mortgage fraud can fall under. Mortgage fraud can either be considered for profit or property.
Fraud for profit is carried out by people who have existing intel in the real estate industry, such as appraisers and mortgage bankers, who utilize this inside information to get money and equity from homeowners and lenders by means of mortgage lending.
Fraud for property is considered to be carried out by mortgage loan buyers as a means to acquire or keep possession of land or property. For instance, a borrower may lie about certain information, such as their existing equity or income, in order to obtain a loan through fraudulent means.
In Atlanta, mortgage fraud is unfortunately not uncommon and occurs in many different shapes and forms. In order to be able to identify mortgage fraud and ensure that you are not implicated in such crimes, it’s important to be aware of some of the common types of mortgage fraud, including:
Mortgage fraud is a complex area of the law that requires knowledge and experience to handle. If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, it’s critical to work with an Atlanta mortgage fraud attorney who understands both state and federal laws surrounding such charges and who can work to prove your innocence.
The success of certain defense tactics that can be employed against mortgage fraud charges depends on the specifics of the case, including whether the mortgage lender or borrower has been accused of the crimes. A strong defense can entail proving that the accused did not intentionally commit the crime or that the presentation of false information actually led to the fraudulent granting of the mortgage loan.
In the state of Georgia, mortgage fraud is considered to be a serious crime. Therefore, if you are charged with mortgage fraud and found guilty in the state, you may face a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000. In some cases, if the charges fall under RICO, then the crime can be charged under federal prosecution, and the penalties can be more severe.
In Georgia, in the case that an individual is harmed personally or financially due to their victimization under a fraudulent scheme, then they have up to two years from the date that the scheme was perpetrated in order to press charges. In some cases, an individual may be eligible to press charges after the two-year time period has passed.
Insurance fraud is considered to be a serious crime in the state of Georgia and can have severe associated penalties. An individual charged with such a crime can face up to 10 years of prison time, as well as have to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been roped into charges for a loan fraud case in Atlanta, you may be thinking about what steps you can take to protect yourself, your reputation, and your future. Contact an Atlanta criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman, who can assist you in working towards an optimal outcome for your case.