Over the past decade, hard economic times have taken their toll on homeowners. As a result, many people have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and faced foreclosure. Needless to say, the prospect of losing one’s home can be stressful and frightening. In some instances, an investor may come along and offer to help by having the owner convey the title to the home in hopes of securing a new loan, then buying back the home prior to foreclosure and returning it once everything has cleared. However, for many homeowners, the result is losing equity in their home and having another mortgage to pay, or even becoming tenants in their own home and paying exorbitant rent. Known as equity skimming, those who have been charged with this crime can face severe penalties. If you find yourself charged with equity skimming, having a lawyer who understands these complex cases can make all the difference in avoiding prison time, fines, and other penalties.
Why Hire an Equity Skimming Lawyer?
If you are charged with equity skimming, federal authorities will aggressively pursue a conviction against you. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will usually be in charge of the case, and will work closely with prosecutors to see that justice is served. However, just because you have been implicated in an equity skimming case does not make you guilty. In many of these cases, investors who had the best of intentions end up getting accused of wrongdoing, when in fact they may simply have not known all aspects of real estate law. Unfortunately, that will make little difference to law enforcement and prosecutors who are determined to make an example out of you and send a message to others who may be involved in similar situations. Rather than let this happen, let an experienced real estate fraud lawyer go to work protecting your rights. Acting as a buffer between you and federal authorities, your lawyer will let you explain your side of the story, examine key evidence, and ensure you have every chance to prove your innocence.
Mortgage Fraud Penalties
As stated earlier, penalties for mortgage fraud are quite severe. Under federal law, obtaining a mortgage under fraudulent circumstances from an FDIC-insured lending institution is punishable by a prison term of as much as 30 years, along with a fine in excess of $1 million. In addition to being subject to federal law, those accused of equity skimming can also be subject to civil lawsuits from homeowners who allege damages and are seeking to reclaim any funds lost in the transaction. And to make matters worse, you may also be charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and fraud conspiracy, which can lead to additional prison time and fines. If you are charged with these crimes and don’t know where to turn, let a knowledgeable equity skimming lawyer advise you as to your options. In some cases it might be to your benefit to work with your lawyer in negotiating a plea deal with the court, while in other instances your lawyer will take your case to trial in an effort to prove your innocence. Whatever situation arises for you, having a equity skimming lawyer by your side will let authorities know you are serious about proving your innocence, and have a lawyer on your side who understands real estate fraud laws and has won numerous cases over the years.
Retain an Attorney Today
When federal authorities are looking to gain a conviction, time is of the essence in hiring a equity skimming lawyer to represent you during your trial. Unfortunately, many defendants make the mistake of letting the courts appoint public defenders, since they have little money to spend after losing their home. However, most real estate fraud lawyers will work on a no-fee basis, meaning they will collect no payment unless they win the case. Not only does this make it possible to hire the best attorney you can find, but it also provides tremendous peace of mind during a time of great stress. If you need the assistance of an equity skimming lawyer, don’t hesitate to meet with one as soon as possible to ensure you get the legal representation you deserve.