Nashville Bank And Mortgage Fraud Attorney
In the wake of the recent subprime mortgage crisis and following the economic recession, federal prosecutors are under tremendous pressure to increase prosecution of lending and mortgage fraud. Banking institutions have increased their lobbying efforts with Congress and the Department of Justice. They would prefer to be seen as the “victim” of bank fraud rather than the architects of the economic crisis in this country. Consequently, lending institutions are eager to prosecute the slightest error, inaccuracy or omission that they deem “material” to the issuance of the loan (home, business, construction, line of credit, etc) through a retrospective lens.
As anyone who has acquired a loan knows, lenders will compete for your business with gimmicks and promotions. Sometimes, the lender claims the loans will be “no hassle” (meaning less paperwork). Other times, the mortgage broker will fill out the application for you and simply ask you to sign what they have written. Some lenders are willing to do “stated loans” or “no doc” loans – encouraging you to estimate your income rather than rigorously mirror your tax returns and then not provide supporting documents. Of course, lenders and brokers do these things to land your business and make it “easier” on you.
Unfortunately, if at some point later in time, you default on the loan because of a change in your own circumstances, the lender’s tone and attitude toward you and the loan process will change dramatically. When the lender scrutinizes your “no hassle” loan application, they will often claim that any inaccuracies on the loan application were material to their issuance of the loan and constitute bank or mortgage fraud. Suddenly, you find yourself in the midst of a bank fraud investigation.
Responding To Charges Or An Investigation
If you have already been charged, you know you need strong defense counsel. But even at the investigation state, it is important to protect your rights. As with other white collar charges, you need to keep a level head and seek counsel from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who can assert your rights effectively.
The exact allegation may vary from case to case. Frequently seen allegations include:
- Inaccurate estimations of income
- Falsified tax returns or bank statements
- Falsified or inaccurate net worth statements
- Omission of information relating to other liabilities, lawsuits, judgments or debts
- Inflated property appraisals
- Mischaracterization of primary use for the collateral (i.e., saying it is a primary residence when it is a rental property)
Bank and mortgage fraud charges are often closely connected. But there are also types of bank fraud that do not involve mortgage fraud such as fraud on loans for cars or for a business line of credit. Federal authorities have also brought many allegations in recent years of “structuring” transactions claiming that money laundering and or structuring laws were violated just because certain forms weren’t filed or because deposits where seemingly made in a way to avoid reporting requirements for cash.
If you have questions regarding bank or mortgage fraud offenses, contact Hodde & Associates. Kimberly S. Hodde can be available for evening and weekend appointments. Ms. Hodde is mindful that you may not have budgeted for funding your defense; so, under some circumstances, she will work with defendants and/or their families on a reasonable payment plan. The firm is conveniently located in a freestanding building on Music Row, just one mile from the federal courthouse with abundant free parking. Contact us at 615-242-4200 or complete our online form.