One Year in Jail and a $10,000.00 fine?
You heard it! That is the price for mortgage fraud.
This is serious folks! How many of you have had clients who were CLEARLY buying an investment property, but obtained financing as an owner occupied home? Ok none of us want to admit it, but let's be honest. This happened ramp-idly in the past, but NO MORE! If caught, it comes with a mandatory $10,000.00 fine and one year in jail.
You can not as the realtor say to the judge, "But I didn't know!" Because the judge will say "It's your job to know".
And it is. It's our job as mortgage professionals and realtors to ask the appropriate questions, to structure the deals properly. It's not only our job to protect the banks against the risk of foreclosure, but it protects all of us and our economy. If the last few years doesn't convince you of that, I don't know what else can. Oh yeah...3 square meals.
I just today received a phone call from an investor who said "off the record, my partner has never owned a home". I was wondering if we could put it in his name." I said, Of course you can, but "Off the record, it comes with a $10,000 fine and 1 year in jail, so I'm not willing to be a party to that." He immediately said, "never mind I have the 20% down". I thought to myself....." well that was easy"
There are many different ways to involve yourself in mortgage fraud and just because you dance around the topic and don't put anything in writing, doesn't mean you aren't privy to what is going on. Let's just say it like it is.....
IT"S MORTGAGE FRAUD!
And if you don't think they are looking for and prosecuting all parties, read the mortgage fraud blog and see up to date instances.
So a word to the wise. Those of us that have hung in there and protected our careers in this industry.
Let's continue to "do the right thing".