In recent years, there has been a rise among real estate fraud. This rise began during the recession of 2008. Many people tried to take advantage of mortgage rates and flip houses in order to make money. Today, the real estate industry has become much more aware of real estate fraud, making it more difficult to get away with.
If you have been caught and accused of real estate fraud, you need to understand that there are ways that you can defend yourself. The best way to do so is by hiring a defense attorney with experience in real estate fraud. An attorney at Cummings Law Firm in Waterbury, Connecticut, has this experience and can provide a sound defense for your white collar crime situation.
Some of the most common real estate fraud schemes on the past few decades are:
- Fraudulent settlement statements. In a situation where there are two sets of statements, one of the settlement statements is accurate, and it shows the seller the true value of the property, as well as an honest selling price. The second settlement statement is a fraudulent statement. It is given to the mortgage lender, and it shows an inflated selling price and value for the home. When the lender sees the inflated selling price, he or she approves a loan that is higher than the property value. When the loan is settled, those who created the fraudulent settlement statement keep the proceeds made.
- Property flipping. In many situations, property flipping is not an illegal act. If you buy a piece of property for a low price, fix it up, and sell it for a profit; this action is not inherently illegal. However, if you provide false statements in order to obtain the property or a mortgage on the property, you will be breaking Connecticut law. You can be prosecuted for providing false information.
- Fraudulent qualifications. Buyers or sellers of homes are not the only ones who can be accused of real estate fraud. If you are a real estate agent and you fabricate your credit record or employment history in order to obtain clients who would not otherwise hire you, you can face a fraudulent qualification charge.
- Title fraud. If you commit identity theft and use false documentation to pose as a property owner, and you obtain things such as a new mortgage in that person's name, you will be charged with title fraud.
- Online rental scams. Online rental scams occur when rental property is advertised on an online site such as Craigslist, but the person who posted the ad is not really the landlord or another person in charge of searching for prospective tenants. If the person pretending to be a landlord or real estate agent gives a potential tenant false keys in exchange for money, this is fraud and that person will be guilty of an online rental scam.
- Foreclosure fraud. When the possibility of foreclosure becomes real, property owners become desperate and vulnerable. When a person takes advantage of property owners hoping to avoid foreclosure by offering them a false loan, that person is guilty of foreclosure or home equity fraud.
Talk To Us About Real Estate Fraud Defense
If you are being accused of a form of real estate fraud, it is important to begin building your defense as soon as possible. In the case of property flipping or some other fraud accusation, you can and should prove that you have done nothing illegal in an attempt to make money off of real estate. With our experience in real estate and real estate fraud, we can help you build this defense. Please contact our office online or call our lawyer at 203-754-7779 to learn more about how we can help you.