Arrested for Mortgage Fraud In Florida
Florida Statute 817.545(2) defines mortgage fraud as making, using, facilitating, or profiting from a material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intent to defraud.
An essential element that must be proven is that the defendant knowingly and intentionally engaged in such an act.
Here, the state must prove that the defendant’s use of the fraudulent statement was a deliberate and conscious action and that the alleged fraud was not committed in ignorance, by accident, or mistake.
The state must also prove that the alleged fraudulent statement was material, which is of a significant and essential nature likely to affect the outcome of the mortgage lending process.
The penalties for mortgage fraud are determined by the amount of the loan.
If the value of the mortgage is lower than $100,000, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years prison or probation and a $5,000 fine.
If the value of the loan is greater than $100,000, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years prison or probation and a $10,000 fine.
If your criminal defense attorney can successfully assert that the purported falsehood on the mortgage application was simply done by mistake or ignorance, then the charges may be eventually dropped.
Also, if you can show that the fraudulent statement is not material (that is unlikely to influence the lender’s decision of whether or not to grant a loan) this too may negate the criminal charges.
If you or a family member has been arrested for Mortgage Fraud in Okaloosa County or Walton County, give me a call at (850) 362-6655 for a free consultation.