Did you know that loan application fraud is the most common type of mortgage crime? It’s true – and you may have committed it without even realizing. See, the majority of mortgage fraud actually doesn’t even involve the applicant at all.
In other words, if you sign on with a loan agent who isn’t totally above-board, you could find yourself facing criminal charges through no fault of your own. Because at the end of the day, you’re the one who signed the application. You’re the one who misrepresented it as being accurate.
And you’re the one who stood to gain from the fraud. The idea that you might be branded an accidental criminal – that you might commit accidental mortgage fraud – is frightening thought, isn’t it? Here’s how you can avoid it.
1. Get Your Income Straight
Do you have a boarder staying in your house and paying you a bit of extra cash? Do you buy items from thrift shops and resell them online? Do you do odd jobs for friends and family to bring in a bit of extra money?
Record that – all of it. Any income you fail to report is considered fraudulent in the eyes of the IRS. And if you get audited, which is likely to happen when you apply for a mortgage, you will end up in legal trouble.
2. ALWAYS Read Before You Sign
Of course, the majority of mortgage fraud still happens due to bad eggs amongst realtors and mortgage brokers. That’s why you need to be extremely careful what documents you sign when you’re angling for a mortgage. Never sign a blank mortgage application or loan documents, and never let an agent talk you into misrepresenting something. Honesty and transparency might mean you get less of a mortgage loan, but it also means you’re in the clear if someone looks at you with a critical eye.
3. Do Your Homework When Choosing A Broker
Just as you should do the math when looking at a property, you should do your homework when choosing a mortgage broker. Only the best, most professional firms should get your attention. Avoid any back-room organizations that no one’s ever heard of. They’re probably borderline anonymous for a reason.
If You’re A Victim of Fraud, Contact Bormaster Law
If, in spite of your best efforts, you still wind up embroiled in a fraud case, Bormaster Law can help. We’ve got a long history of dealing with all manner of fraud, and real estate cases are our specialty. We’ll do what we can to ensure you’re not the one held responsible for the shady actions of someone else.
Contact us today for a free consultation.