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Mortgage fraud is a term that covers a number of different fraud offences, including fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud. With a maximum possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, it is essential to have specialist legal advice if you have been arrested for or charged with an offence related to mortgage fraud.
Our mortgage fraud defence lawyers can represent you from the point of arrest through every stage of criminal proceedings where required. While you will normally be offered the services of a duty solicitor when arrested for mortgage fraud, they are unlikely to have strong experience in handling these types of serious fraud offences. We therefore recommend being represented by our fraud defence solicitors instead to make sure your case is handled correctly from the outset.
You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
With our specialist expertise in all types of fraud offences, we can give you the best chance having charges against you dropped or avoiding charges altogether. Where prosecution cannot be avoided, we will prepare the strongest possible case and represent you to help secure the best available outcome.
We know how stressful and upsetting being arrested and prosecuted can be, so our criminal defence team offer empathetic personal support, helping to make the experience as easy on you as we can.
Our fraud defence lawyers speak a wide range of languages, allowing us to effectively represent people from all backgrounds at every stage of criminal proceedings, from police interview through to prosecution and appeals.
If you have been charged with mortgage fraud, you can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate advice and representation.
Our expertise with mortgage fraud charges
Having represented a wide range of clients for more than 40 years, our specialist fraud defence lawyers have the skills and expertise to give you the best possible defence in even the most complex of mortgage fraud cases.
With a number of accredited police station representatives on our team, we can offer instant advice and representation 24/7 for anyone arrested in connection to mortgage fraud offences.
We have a strong track record of successfully representing clients in both the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court, with our team also having very good working relationships with some of the country’s leading specialist fraud barristers. Our fraud defence lawyers can therefore make sure you have access to all of the skills and expertise needed to achieve the best available outcome for your case.
Common questions about mortgage fraud offences
What is mortgage fraud?
Mortgage fraud refers to the criminal offence of fraudulently taking out a mortgage for the financial benefit of the borrower or dishonestly making changes to an existing mortgage, such as borrowing further funds. The specific criminal offence or offences involved in mortgage fraud will depend on the circumstances involved, but may include:
- Fraud by False Representation
- Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information
- Fraud by Abuse of Position
- Conspiracy to Defraud
Examples of mortgage fraud include where:
- The sale price of a property is overstated, allowing the borrower to secure a mortgage they would otherwise not have been offered or to receive a better interest rate than they would have based on the true value of the property.
- False information is given about the borrower’s identity, income, employment, existing debts or any other information that might influence the mortgage application.
- The borrower claims the property will be their primary residence when in reality they are buying the property as an investment, allowing them to secure the more favourable interest rates intended for owner-occupiers.
- Multiple mortgages are taken out on the same property from different lenders who are not aware of the other mortgages.
Mortgage fraud generally falls into two main categories:
Simple mortgage fraud – Where an individual provides false information in relation to a mortgage application for their own benefit.
Conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud – Where two or more people work together to secure a mortgage or mortgages as part of a planned criminal enterprise.
It is important to note that is not just the person who fraudulently takes out a mortgage who can face prosecution for mortgage fraud.
The seller of a property can also face prosecution if they agreed to overstate the sale price or otherwise provide false information relating to the sale, as can mortgage brokers who are considered to have intentionally or negligently failed to recognise the signs of mortgage fraud. Anyone else involved in providing false information for the purposes of securing a mortgage can also potentially be charged; for example, valuers or surveyors.
What are the penalties for mortgage fraud?
The potential sentence for mortgage fraud will depend on the specific offence alleged to have occurred and will be influenced by factors including:
- The amount of harm caused, intended or risked by the offence (i.e. the financial value of the loss experienced by the alleged victim or victims).
- The role the defendant is alleged to have played in the offending.
For offences of Fraud by False Representation, Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information, Fraud by Abuse of Position and Conspiracy to Defraud, the maximum sentence is 10 years’ imprisonment.
What are my rights when arrested on suspicion of mortgage fraud?
If you are arrested for or charged with a mortgage fraud offence, knowing your rights is very important; it is vital to ensure you do not say or do anything which unintentionally harms your defence.
When arrested for mortgage fraud, please remember:
- The arresting officer must tell you what specific offence you are being arrested for
- You do not have to answer any questions you are asked
- You should never answer police questions without a solicitor present
When arresting you for a mortgage fraud offence, the police are required to caution you with the following words:
“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
You and your home or work address may be searched; it is very important to obtain expert advice as police search powers are complex and can be challenged.
Following a police interview for an offence related to mortgage fraud, you may be:
- Charged with a specific offence
- Released under investigation
- Release with no further action
If you are charged with a fraud offence, you will either be released on bail or remanded in custody to await trial.
Contact our mortgage fraud lawyers now
For urgent specialist advice, immediate police station representation or to speak to us confidentially about a charge of mortgage fraud or any other criminal matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact a member of our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:
Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
City of London: 0207 624 7771 – our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
24/7 legal representation for mortgage fraud
For immediate representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.
For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.
If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future, and you have the means to pay for this service please read more about our bespoke private fee service.