Working in the real estate industry is much more complicated than those outside the industry may expect, especially when it comes to coordinating the many parties involved to complete a transaction. Here in New York, and in most parts of the country, most people purchase property using a mortgage, adding many layers of complexity.
Unfortunately, the mortgage approval process and the fee structures that keep the wheels of real estate turning often encourage unscrupulous parties to stretch the truth or lie outright to push a deal through. In some cases, when one party acts deceptively, it can cast many other parties in a negative light, and, in extreme circumstances, can lead to mortgage fraud charges.
Whether you are in the business of buying or selling real estate, or facilitating these transactions, you constantly face opportunities to commit mortgage fraud, even if you do not intend to do so. It is wise to make sure that you clearly understand how to protect your rights and reputation from mortgage fraud charges, whether you face them now or may face them in the future.
Protecting your rights and reputation
The most common ways of committing mortgage fraud deal with falsifying information to improve the terms of a mortgage for one party or another. This can happen at just about any part of the process, and most parties involved in the process have the opportunity to commit fraud at some point or another.
If you face pressure to exaggerate income or alter some other aspect of an application, consider this a major warning sign. Some parties within the mortgage and home-buying process may claim that these sorts of practices are standard in the industry. However, it is unlikely that the courts see it this way.
Another key thing to avoid, especially for those purchasing property, is signing a blank document. No legitimate business opportunity requires you to sign a document once the other parties are through. In fact, it is wise to make sure that you have a clear legal understanding of any documents you sign, even if this slows down the process.
Build a defense immediately
Of course, even for those who try to pay attention to the risks, fraud charges happen. If you face fraud charges of any kind, be sure to build a strong legal defense as soon as you can. Your reputation and even livelihood are on the line, so now is not the time to put off legal action.
With a strong defense and clear head, you can resolve this issue fairly and keep your livelihood and rights protected.