Mortgage Fraud Solicitors
Prosecutions for mortgage fraud are now on the increase. The liberal lending policies of banks and other financial institutions before the 2008 financial crisis gave rise to a credit boom and soaring property prices.
As borrowers default on their debts in today’s more challenging economic climate many property transactions are coming under close scrutiny with banks seeking the assistance of the law enforcement agencies and the FSA in an effort to seek redress or recoup some of their losses.
These investigations generally encompass two categories – mortgage frauds for property where the lender is deceived as to the nature of the loan by misrepresentation of income or property value and more complicated mortgage frauds for profit using professional enablers.
These could involve fictitious transactions where for example loans or remortgages are obtained at inflated values by non-existent buyers connected to the vendors. In other cases a company’s property portfolio may be over- valued so as to defraud investors or the identity of the true owner of a property disguised via complex corporate architecture.
As well as the rising incidence of criminal intervention there is an increased likelihood of regulatory action from the FSA, which announced that it had taken steps to ban 105 mortgage brokers by 2011. The FSA has also proposed an extension of the approved persons’ regime to include anyone who advises on or sells mortgages.
Where a mortgage has been obtained fraudulently, the value of the mortgage represents proceeds of crime or criminal property and an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) may also be initiated.
We assist individuals under investigation in connection with potential mortgage and property fraud transactions ranging from investors to professionals such as surveyors, mortgage brokers, financial advisers, accountants and solicitors either before the FSA or in criminal proceedings.