Mortgage Fraud Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when one person allegedly adopts the identity of another without his or her knowledge or consent, and then uses that identity in an illegal or fraudulent manner such as to procure a mortgage or home-equity loan. This is the second most common form of mortgage fraud.
While “straw buyers” are paid for the use of their identities, alleged victims of identity theft are not. Real estate appraisers may also have their identity stolen in order to further inflated appraisals.
Another combination of identity theft and mortgage fraud is what the FBI refers to as "house stealing". Charges of this nature arise when a person is thought to have used someone else's identity to obtain forms of identification, and then used those falsified identity documents to transfer the property's deed from the alleged victim to the defendant, after which the defendant sells that property.
Mortgage fraud prosecution is generally aggressive. The FBI even encourages the use of "undercover operations as an effective technique to address mortgage fraud."
Penalties for Mortgage Fraud
If convicted, federal identity theft mortgage fraud charges can result in federal prison sentences and significant financial penalties, possibly amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution. Under the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory prison term of two years with no possibility of probation in addition to whatever jail term may be incurred due to other charges. False Statements on a Mortgage Application and Wire Fraud, common mortgage fraud-related charges, have maximum prison sentences of 30 and 20 years, respectively.
Even in light of the recent collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the FBI expects mortgage fraud and identity theft to escalate, which means that federal investigations and prosecutions can be expected to increase.
If you are facing accusations of identity theft-related mortgage fraud and/or a federal investigation, you need a seasoned team of Mortgage Fraud Attorneys.
Contact one of The Blanch Law Firm's experienced attorneys today by calling 888-984-5579 . Your initial consultation is both free and confidential.