Mortgage Fraud

Edward Prutschi examines mortgage fraud.

Certainly, we notice in our practice, and anecdotally if one looks at media reports and talks to bankers and law enforcement, that there does seem to be a significant increase in mortgage fraud. There are a lot of different ways that a mortgage fraud can be perpetrated. Mortgage fraud is often a combination of making a person appear to be someone they are not or more financially suitable for the mortgage or making the property appear more valuable than it is.

I have seen a number of different examples and routes. Some of them are as simple as a form of identity fraud where someone pretends to be the lawful purchaser of a home, and because of some relatively lax rules about identification, a person is able to take out a mortgage on a property in the name of someone else. The money, however, gets forwarded to the fraudster and the debt is left to the legitimate individual.

There are more sophisticated crimes, too. Properties can be mortgaged for values that are inappropriate. People will get properties appraised at dramatically inflated values and be allotted funds by the bank that would never otherwise have been paid out. I have seen scenarios where syndicates and rings forge employment letters or debt and security letters so that an individual seeking out a mortgage appears to be more solvent than they in fact are. Again, they get forwarded funds that they normally would not have been approved for. Generally it is the bank that is the victim. The charges for this crime may go beyond simple fraud to reflect how the crime was committed and include charges of impersonation and forged documents.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Toronto,Ontario Region, contact Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from February 29, 2008 with Ed Prutschi, Criminal Lawyer with Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, Toronto Criminal Lawyers. The article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.