Making a factual inaccuracy on your mortgage application (whether by accident or intentionally) could lead to you facing fraud charges.
Lenders will assess your application on the evidence you submit, and the law expects you to be honest when completing the forms. If the lender suspects you were not entirely truthful, they may call the authorities to investigate, and you could end up facing criminal charges.
Defending against the charges will require showing that any wrong information was unintentional, as fraud requires an intent to deceive.
You cannot be penalized for making an honest mistake
That does not mean that the prosecutors won’t try to claim you knew what you were doing. Here are some reasons you might find yourself under suspicion of mortgage fraud
- You wrote the wrong number, such as adding an extra zero to your income.
- You based your income on your previous salary after you had downsized to a job where you work less but earn less.
- You overestimated your business income. This year might look like it will be your best year ever, but you cannot rely on that. It is better to use the previous year’s income as your basis. You also need to avoid fudging the figures. Give them what they ask for, not your interpretation of it.
- You or an industry friend overestimated the property’s value. The value you enter on the form should be current, not projected or based on when prices were higher.
A mortgage fraud conviction will have serious consequences. Understanding how to fight the charges will be crucial. That is why legal help will be crucial to examine all available defense options.