Mortgage Fraud

Unlike mail fraud, bank fraud, or wire fraud, mortgage fraud does not have its own federal statute associated with it. However, that definitely does not prevent the federal government from aggressively prosecuting the crime under the title of "mortgage fraud".

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FERA and the Prosecution of Mortgage Crimes

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) enacted in 2009 expanded the reach of federal law enforcement officials in enforcing mortgage fraud laws. Sentences under FERA can include $1 million fines and 30-year prison sentences.

Law enforcement officials recognize two main categories of fraud related to mortgages:

Fraud for Housing: A situation where a borrower submits false, incomplete, or inaccurate information in order to qualify for a loan or to obtain more favorable terms when buying a home.

Fraud for Profit: A situation where a real estate professional (appraiser, mortgage broker, etc.) commits fraud in order to extract money from a property or transaction.

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