Mortgage fraud is a serious issue, and victims of this type of unacceptable and illegal action may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. When lenders act illegally or fail to properly disclose certain terms to the borrower, the borrower would be wise to take quick and decisive action to protect his or her rights and financial interests.
What is mortgage fraud and how do I know if I am a victim?
Unfortunately, many California mortgage fraud victims are unaware of what has happened until after the fact. They are often caught by surprise, sometimes even experiencing unexpected damages as a result. You may be a victim of mortgage fraud if any of the following happened to you:
- Lender failed to disclose the actual terms of the mortgage loan
- Proper borrower qualification process was not followed
- Lender improperly valued property
- Lender imposed unfair and significant finance charges
- Lender imposed unfairly steep penalties for late payments
Fraud for profit in relation to your mortgage is a serious financial and criminal matter. This requires the guidance of an attorney with experience in this complex area of law, one who can help you navigate these complications and fight for compensation for any damages you have suffered.
Common types of mortgage fraud
Mortgage fraud is such a serious issue that the Federal Bureau of Investigation dedicates significant resources and time to finding perpetrators and protecting consumers. According to the FBI, some of the most commonly seen for-profit mortgage fraud schemes include:
- Foreclosure rescue schemes
- Loan modification schemes
- Builder buyout/condo conversions
- Home equity conversion mortgage
Individuals who commit mortgage fraud are those with insider access to the mortgage industry, using their knowledge, connections and skills to commit the fraud. A high percentage of people who commit this type of crime are bank officers, appraisers, brokers, loan originators and others. The objective of mortgage fraud is not to illegally obtain housing, but to steal profit from borrowers, lenders and homeowners.
I think I am a victim. Now what?
If you suspect that you are the victim of mortgage fraud or any type of unfair lending practices, you have rights. You are entitled to a full explanation of your legal options, which may include a civil claim against the party that misled or defrauded you. Victims can benefit from experienced advocacy and a close knowledge of consumer rights as they seek a positive legal resolution to this unfortunate situation.