Have You or a Family Member Been Charged with Mortgage Fraud in California?
Our Experienced Mortgage Fraud Criminal Defense Lawyers have your Best Defense
Federal and State law enforcement units dedicated to prosecuting mortgage fraud cases have been on the rise following the recent foreclosure crisis and financial bailouts. The California Bureau of Real Estate and the local DA dig through real estate transactions and public tips to ferret out evidence of existing schemes.
As a result, allegations of mortgage fraud happen every day and too often innocent, undeserving individuals find themselves targets for prosecution; facing prison time and harsh financial penalties.
Mortgage Fraud Prosecutors are looking for Criminal Convictions – Act Quickly
Like other white collar crimes, mortgage fraud often entails an intelligent and complex scheme created by a forward-thinking individual – who may or may not know their method is illegal. Anyone facing charges for mortgage fraud are going to feel the full strength of the prosecution. California law considers mortgage fraud a particularly repugnant offense and those working to incriminate you will do what is necessary to get a guilty verdict.
With that same vigor and force, we fight to protect your rights and defend your case. No matter what your circumstances, there IS ALWAYS a defense. We dedicate our time and resources to providing you with an aggressive and strategic defense and working tirelessly to have your charges are reduced or dropped altogether.
Attorney Joseph Tully, author of California: State of Collusion, and leading California criminal defense attorney Jack Weiss direct a defense team of experts that work diligently to detect tainted evidence, uncover Constitutional rights violations in your arrest and prosecution while exposing every untruthful or defective element of the prosecutor's case.
What is Mortgage Fraud under California Law?
Many accused of mortgage fraud are suspected of omitting or misrepresenting information on loan applications to obtain more money than they would normally qualify for. But the offense itself is not easily definable and a number of California charges may apply in prosecuting mortgage fraud, including:
- Grand Theft: Intentionally and knowingly making a fraudulent representation (omitting information or misrepresenting facts) to obtain possession of a property or loan, when an entity is relying on that fraudulent information to determine your eligibility, and when the mortgage lender is defrauded out of more than $950.
- Forged Deed or Document: It is a crime to record any forged document or deed in public records. This type of real estate fraud may also involve charges under California's forgery law.
- Rent Skimming: Failing to apply rent proceeds to the mortgage within the first year of acquiring a residential rental property or pretending to own a property you don't actually own and renting it out for personal financial gain can be charged with criminal rent skimming.
- Foreclosure Fraud: Foreclosure consultants who ask for a misrepresented transfer of title, ask the owner to sign over the title unknowingly by misrepresenting the reason for the signature, or tell the owner they will help them save their property from foreclosure for a fee and then provide no services, can be charged with California foreclosure fraud.
Whether you didn't realize your actions were unlawful, made a mistake in judgment, were misled or falsely accused, Tully & Weiss California mortgage fraud defense attorneys guarantee to provide you with hard-hitting legal counsel throughout the duration of your case.
You must retain counsel as soon as possible as the prosecution is already building its case against you and our Tully & Weiss attorneys start immediately working to get your charges reduced or completely dismissed.
California Criminal Laws: Our Elite Defense Lawyers Help With All Charges
We are available 24/7 and can quickly meet you in jail or at your location. Start your defense on the right track from the very first step.
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What Are The Penalties For Mortgage Fraud Charge In The State Of California?
Mortgage fraud charges are taken very seriously by California prosecutors and the penalties can result in a lifelong struggle for both you and your family. Under California law, mortgage fraud can be charged as a felony and those convicted can face prison time, substantial fines, and a permanent criminal record.
- Grand Theft (487 PC): A conviction of grand theft in the state of California can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances and your criminal history. Misdemeanor grand theft is punishable by misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony grand theft is punishable by felony probation, up to 3 years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Forged Deeds or Documents (115 PC): Filing a forged deed or document is prosecuted as a felony, punishable by felony probation, up to 3 years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Rent Skimming (890 CC): A single charge of rent skimming faces potential civil penalties (damages and attorney's fees to the harmed party). Multiple incidences of rent skimming can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of the case and prior criminal history. Misdemeanor rent skimming is punishable by misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony rent skimming is punishable by felony probation, up to 3 years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Foreclosure Fraud (2945.4 CC): A conviction of foreclosure fraud can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the case and your criminal history. Misdemeanor foreclosure fraud is punishable by misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony foreclosure fraud is punishable by felony probation, up to 3 years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to these penalties, a mortgage fraud conviction can result in the loss of your professional license. If you are convicted of a California mortgage fraud felony and the defrauded amount was greater than $65,000, you may face up to an additional 5 years in state prison.
Our early intervention in your case can mean the difference between jail time and a complete dismissal of the charges. The Tully & Weiss California mortgage fraud attorneys have over 40 years of criminal defense experience representing more than a thousand clients facing both misdemeanor and felony charges.
Joseph Tully has been named by National Trial Lawyers to the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” annual awards multiple times, delivering successful outcomes in numerous cases others deemed impossible. The first step you need to take when facing a mortgage fraud charge is to arm yourself immediately with an expert criminal litigator who has the experience, reputation, and resources to defend your case.
What Defense Strategies Will my Lawyer Use To Fight A California Mortgage Fraud Charge?
Tully & Weiss California mortgage fraud defense attorneys will prepare a powerful defense according to the specifics of your case and ensure your rights are protected. There are a number of legal defenses an experienced mortgage fraud defense lawyer can enlist to fight your charges.
Some common defenses include (but are not limited to):
- Property Owner Consent: If your defense attorney can demonstrate that the property owner actually provided their consent for the transaction and you had good faith intent, you may not be convicted of mortgage fraud.
- Lack of Intent: Intent to commit mortgage fraud is one of the required elements of the crime that the prosecutor must prove. If you did not understand that you were acting fraudulently, lack of intent provides a powerful defense.
- Proper Use Of Proceeds: In the case of rent skimming, if you used the rent proceeds within 30 days of receiving them to pay for necessary and unforeseen family medical expenses, or to pay contractors or suppliers to correct habitability violations regarding the property, and you have no other way to pay these expenses, you may not be convicted of rent skimming.
- False Identity: If your defense attorney can demonstrate that you are not the person liable for the activity in question (you were perhaps an identity theft victim, were framed, or were otherwise mistakenly identified), you cannot be convicted of mortgage fraud.
Act Quickly to Protect Your Rights – Prosecutors and Police Are Preparing their Case
If you have been charged with mortgage fraud in the state of California, you will need an experienced California criminal defense lawyer to respond to these serious felony charges. Tully & Weiss defense attorneys thoroughly examine every aspect of the events leading to the charge and dissect every element of the case.
Our Contra Costa County based criminal lawyers with a statewide California criminal defense practice have the resources and qualifications expected of the top criminal defense lawyers in the State of California and are committed to aggressively defending your rights and freedom.