Real estate fraud in simple terms is a real estate transaction where a false representation is made to deceive a person or a business for financial gain. Such fraud is a serious offense and here lies the reason why the assistance of a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney is a must. We at Logue Law Group are here to help you throughout your case.
Our Pittsburgh real estate fraud lawyers can handle the following situations:
- Using straw buyers
- Using the identity of another person for getting a loan
- Transfer a title for inflating the worth of a property
- Sell or lease a property which you are not the owner of
- Sell an investment which is secured via a property devoid of recording the deed
- Predatory lending
- Overstate your income or falsify wage documents for securing a loan
- Get a loan with false information
- Foreclosure schemes
Real estate usually includes investors, appraisers, and brokers, yet there can be cases where the homeowner can be charged with this fraud, as well. The moment you are charged with such fraud, a real estate fraud attorney in Pittsburgh can help you out.
What is Real Estate Fraud?
Real estate fraud has become commonplace in the days since the housing downturn in the late 2000s; as a result, the federal government has increased the level of investigations and prosecutions it has performed in such situations. Federal real estate fraud includes any misrepresentation in a real estate transaction which is intended to defraud one or more banks and/or deceive another person.
Below is a list of some common real estate fraud schemes:
- Equity skimming
- Using another person’s information or fake information for obtaining a mortgage
- Illegal flipping
- Predatory lending
- Straw buyer schemes- to utilize an individual’s credit and identity for obtaining financing, only to have another individual be the one taking possession after closing
There are scams that will target people who are at risk of foreclosure. Some of these are listed below:
Foreclosure prevention schemes - Organizations convince people that they can keep those people from foreclosure when they cannot, and charge a hefty fee without offering any actual assistance.
Phony mortgage counseling - Organizations which charge a hefty fee to help homeowners complete activities which are free or easy to do on their own.
Rent-to-buy scheme - Organizations that convince homeowners to hand over their home’s title in exchange for being allowed to reside there, pay rent, and buy the house back at a later date. The terms are, in reality, too pricey for the homeowner to be able to purchase back the abode. So, the owner of the house loses it, while the organization takes the amount which the homeowner has put into it.
What Will be the Penalty?
Despite playing a small part in such frauds, you may face imprisonment. The aggressive federal prosecutors, in fact, will try their best at adding extra charges for wire and mail fraud, as many transactions include information that is sent via email or FedEx. The prosecutors will attempt to include charges of money laundering or bank fraud.