In Texas, not all criminal allegations related to theft are perpetrated via shoplifting, through burglary, by using a weapon or with the threat of violence. Not even fraud always involves offering a product that does not live up to its billing or does not exist at all. In some instances, people who simply make false statements on an application to secure a mortgage are arrested for fraud. Understanding the law in this context is a fundamental part of creating a viable defense to address the charges.
When might there be charges of fraud when seeking a mortgage?
Getting a mortgage can be difficult for some. The process requires proof of income, a listing of assets and cash on hand to pay various fees that inevitably arise. Because many aspire to home ownership, they might simply exaggerate what they have or tell outright falsehoods. This might not seem to be a major legal violation, but it is a form of fraud and can lead to charges with criminal consequences. People might make false statements for many reasons. They could have the money to purchase a property but do not have the tax records, the credit or necessary financial proof to be approved for the mortgage. This often leads to an attempt to get the mortgage by any means necessary.
The penalties for a conviction vary depending on how much the loan is worth. A lower level crime related to credit fraud is a misdemeanor. For example, if the property or credit is worth between $100 and $750, it is a Class B misdemeanor. With a property that requires a mortgage, it will likely rise to the level of felony. A state jail felony is if the amount is $2,500 and less than $30,000. It is a third-degree felony if it is $30,000 and less than $150,000. From $150,000 to less than $300,000, it is a second-degree felony. If it is $300,000 or more, it is a first-degree felony. There could be hefty fines and extensive jail time for a conviction.
Those accused of mortgage fraud should protect themselves immediately
This is the type of situation in which people who have never been accused of wrongdoing nor had any interaction with law enforcement in which they were facing charges could find themselves dealing with troubling claims that they broke the law. Fraud has surprisingly serious penalties that must be addressed. Perhaps alternatives could be sought instead of going to trial. A plea bargain in which there is restitution could be an option. These individuals should understand the value of a strong defense and try to find a workable solution to deal with the charges.