Were You a Victim of Mortgage Fraud in Florida?
According to a study conducted by LexisNexis, Florida has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in mortgage fraud. The state has actually led the country in mortgage fraud for each year since 2009. Southeast Florida, in particular the area stretching from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, has a highest rate of mortgage fraud of any metropolitan area in the county. This is alarming because mortgage fraud can cause serious financial damage to the victims. If you have been a victim of fraud, you need to take immediate legal action. Please consult with an experienced Florida mortgage fraud attorney as soon as possible.
Bad Acts By Mortgage Lenders
All mortgage lenders must follow certain legal procedures when initiating, modifying or refinancing a home loan. Unfortunately, in Florida, there are many unscrupulous mortgage lenders who operate using unlawful practices. Mortgage fraud can cost you your home, and all of the hard earned equity that you have built, and can drain your bank account. Some specific examples of mortgage fraud include:
- Negligence: This includes any actions by mortgage lenders that fall short of the ordinary standard of care. For example, a mortgage lender might be negligent because they lost key loan documents or because they signed off on borrower information that they knew to be false.
- Unreasonable delay of loan modification: Your mortgage lender has an obligation to process your modification application within an appropriate time frame. A lender cannot intentionally or negligently delay your modification in order to benefit themselves.
- Dual tracking: This occurs when a mortgage lender tries to foreclose and modify a home loan simultaneously.
- Predatory lending: This is a major problem in Florida. Predatory lending can occur in a number of ways; some specific examples include: high pressure sales tactics; bait and switch schemes that materially mislead the borrower; and equity stripping where the lender approves a home loan based on their equity and not a borrower’s repayment ability.
- Encouraging borrowers to include false information: Lenders know better than to push borrowers into supplying false information. This will just push borrowers into an unsustainable loan. This is an unlawful mortgage lender practice.
You Can Take Legal Action
If you have been the victim of mortgage fraud, please take immediate legal action. A qualified attorney can examine your individual circumstances and help you determine the best path forward. Your attorney will need to comprehensively review:
- The terms of your loan agreement;
- Any issues with the servicing of your loan;
- Any issues with loan modification; and
- Your complete loan and payment history.
You may have been the victim of fraud when you first took out your home loan, or fraud may have occurred during the refinancing or loan modification process. Regardless, you deserve your day in court. All Florida homeowners must be protected from mortgage fraud.
Contact Our Office Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our business and consumer fraud attorneys have extensive experience handling mortgage fraud claims. If you are a homeowner who has been damaged by mortgage fraud, please contact our West Palm Beach office for immediate assistance. Initial legal consultations are fully confidential and free of charge. We represent fraud victims throughout South Florida, including in Miami Gardens and South Beach.