Mortgage fraud investigations
Mortgage fraud investigations have increased significantly in the last few years ranging from wide scale conspiracies to an individual overinflating income on an application for a mortgage. Following the collapse of the economy many lenders have cracked down on mortgage fraud and have been trawling through historic loans to assess their veracity. In particular the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the City of London police have increased dramatically the volume of investigations into mortgage fraud.
There are varying types of mortgage fraud defined according to their motivation but all involve misleading a lender about a material aspect of the property transaction in order to obtain the loan. The common factor is intent to materially misrepresent or omit information on a loan application in order to obtain the loan or obtain a larger loan. Proceedings regarding mortgage fraud tend to not be limited to the borrower; they can involve all the people and professionals involved in obtaining the mortgage.
This can include surveyors, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, accountants, estate agents, property developers, property investors and solicitors. These professionals often face questions regarding what due diligence they could have reasonably been expected to have conducted. There is often a very complex trail of evidence to go through and many vitally important documents are missed by the investigating officers that can materially affect the outcome of a case.
This is often of pivotal importance when representing those charged with mortgage fraud and needs an understanding of the documentation involved. Often there can be extensive email correspondence and telephone records to consider. This can be key evidence for the Prosecution but equally key to your defence if the context hasn’t been considered. We are experts at defending professionals and early intervention is critical.
How can we help?
At Stephensons we have a specialist team fully conversant with the complex financial transactions that are often involved in mortgage fraud. The need to trace the money through various accounts is a skill essential for this type of defence. The paper trail can often lead to considering complex transactions involving money going into international jurisdictions and into offshore accounts. Knowledge of these areas is vital. Often there are charges of money laundering coupled with the fraud itself and it essential that individuals are properly advised by experts in that area. We have access to many expert witnesses to assist us in the preparation of your defence including forensic accountants.
Individual home purchasers are more commonly accused of small scale of single domestic fraud or domestic fraud involving a limited number of properties. This is normally as a result of providing false information to obtain a mortgage. In recent years self certification mortgages were extremely popular and unregulated often leading people to provide inaccurate information regarding their employment status, income, debts they owed etc. This results in mortgage fraud.
Professionals who knew or should have known in their professional experience that the transaction was fraudulent can also be under suspicion of participating in the mortgage fraud. It is not limited to self certified mortgages and has occurred with other types of mortgage lending. We have the expertise to deal with all cases of mortgage fraud no matter how large or small.
Early intervention is crucial so we can start to defend you right from interview stage, call our expert mortgage fraud solicitors to see how we can help: 0203 816 9274 or complete our online enquiry form.