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What is mortgage fraud, and why might someone accuse you of it?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Buying a home can be a long-drawn-out process. It is even more complex if you need to sell your house at the same time.

You know that if one little thing goes wrong, the whole thing will fall through, and you will need to start all over again. Hence you might be tempted to be economical with the truth when stating your income on the mortgage application form. If you do, you could find yourself facing criminal charges.

The income you give needs to be accurate 

Imagine you are self-employed. Two years ago, your business was doing well and then, through no fault of your own, sales dropped. Now things are looking back up, does that mean you can submit past figures from when things were better to get a larger mortgage? No. You must submit what the lender asks for. Typically self-employed people must give the last two years’ income.

If you feel that is unfair, talk to the lender to see if there is any way to increase the amount based on past figures or this year’s projections. Whatever you do, do not lie on the form.

What if I am sure I will get the better-paid job I had an interview for?

Until a job is definitely yours, you should not base your income on it for the mortgage application. Doing so could again lead to fraud accusations.

The best way to protect yourself against the possibility a lender accuses you of mortgage fraud is to be transparent in your application and talk to the lender if you feel you have a special situation. Yet innocent people can still get accused due to mistakes. Mortgage fraud is a serious charge, so ensure you get legal help to understand your options if accused.