An incredible amount of money flows through the Florida real estate market. This provides a temptation for many to take advantage of that flow of money by committing financial malfeasance to get some of it. This happens in mortgage fraud cases, including one in which the two defendants, both Florida residents, were just sentenced.
The defendants, 42 and 44, are based in Highland Beach and Delray Beach, respectively. They were sentenced to seven years this past Thursday in U.S. District Court. The two had been accused of defrauding homeowners in a scheme that totaled $4 million.
The homeowners they defrauded were facing personal financial difficulties. For some, those difficulties included facing foreclosure on their homes. Naturally, they sought help, and that is when the two defendants stepped in.
The defendants promised the homeowners that they would be preapproved for federally funded mortgage modifications. They made this claim through a company called Home Protection Economics Inc. In return for the offered guarantee of preapproval, they required a fee up front. The fee could be as much as $2,000.
However, the homeowners were denied the mortgage modifications in most cases. They had no advantage in the application process at all, meaning they received no benefits for the fees paid. Indeed, they could have completed the application process on their own and had the same chance of success.
In this case, the defendants were convicted of multiple counts including mail fraud, misusing a government seal, and multiple counts of conspiracy. Others accused in mortgage fraud may face a different set of charges. Anyone who finds themselves accused in such a case in Florida will benefit from legal advice from an experienced attorney.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Fla. men get 7 years for mortgage fraud” Milton J. Valencia, Feb. 21, 2014