Should You Report the Mortgage Broker for Fraud?

A mortgage victim recently wrote this to me:

“I sent the lender a letter. They responded within 2 weeeks with a letter that  had a 2 copies of the loan application from a bank with different information in spots and signed by a TLC. One set was different than what was given to me at settlement.  An extra year was added to my years of employment. Also a $1000 bonus was added to my salary, and they changed the reason for refinance from cash out to home improvement. I never told them any of those things. I have no idea why that is on the papers and I wasn’t aware of it until I got their letter.  Could they have changed it to pass the loan through at the time and sent it to me by mistake? “

Clearly, this borrower feels acutely aware of misbehavior by the mortgage broker or lender through falsification of the loan application.  The borrower does not admit signing the loan application, but of course we know he must have signed a loan application, the note, and the security instrument at closing.  Typically, the closing officer shoves one form after another across the table to the borrower and shows where to sign it.  Typically, the borrower never bothers reading it or having an attorney review it in advance.

And, look at this text from the Acknowledgement and Agreement section of FannieMae’s Uniform Residential Loan Application, which most mortgage borrowers sign:

“Each of the undersigned specifically represents to Lender and to Lender’s actual or potential agents, brokers, processors, attorneys, insurers, servicers, successors and assigns and agrees and acknowledges that:  (1) the information provided in this application is true and correct as of the date set forth opposite my signature and that any intentional or negligent misrepresentation of this information contained in this application may result in civil liability, including monetary damages, to any person who may suffer any loss due to reliance upon any misrepresentation that I have made on this application, and/or in criminal penalties including, but not limited to, fine or imprisonment or both under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 1001, et seq. …”

I have supplied that and other criminal laws from the Legal Information Institute that might interest you.  These and other federal criminal laws might stimulate you into reporting your crooked mortgage broker to the FBI.  However, if you signed the loan application at closing, FBI agents, DOJ attorneys, and federal judges might construe that as meaning you read and understood and agreed with the content of every document you signed BEFORE signing it.  If so, whom might they consider committed bank fraud, etc?

In spite of this, Congress has established statutes that impose time limitations for prosecuting people for crimes.  If too much time goes by between commission of the crime and indictment, the government might lose the authority to prosecute.  These statutes can get a little complicated and non-uniform, so attorneys must study them carefully to learn the effect on their clients.  The student can find a Congressional Research Service report on the Statutes of Limitations here.

Note that this article deals only with federal crimes.  Your state has its own criminal and civil laws that might affect appraisers, mortgage brokers, title companies, Realtors, lenders, servicers, and borrowers.

This author thinks it makes sense to contact a competent attorney and seek legal advice about whether and how to report suspicions that a mortgage broker or other entity involved in your mortgage loan transaction has committed a crime by hoodwinking you.

You might have many kinds of criminal and civil issues in your mortgage transaction.  It makes most sense to get a competent professional to examine your mortgage so as to find ALL of those issues so you can identify them to your attorney in preparation for suing or filing a criminal complaint.  If you want a comprehensive mortgage examination, notify Maven via Mortgage Attack‘s Contact page.

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18 USC 4 – Misprision of felony.

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

18 USC 1001 – Statements or entries generally.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—

(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

18 USC 1341 – Frauds and swindles.

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

18 USC 1344 – Bank Fraud. 
Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—
(1) to defraud a financial institution; or
(2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises;
shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
18 USC 1346 – Scheme or Artifice to Defraud.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.

 

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