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NYC Appraisal Fraud Lawyers

Buying a home is a very major purchase that needs to be taken seriously. When you are looking to buy a new home, one of the most important things you will need to do is order an appraisal on the home. The home appraisal is a fully written report that will determine the value of the home. This report is then used by people to determine whether they should purchase a home and buy mortgage lenders to determine whether or not they should provide a mortgage. When you are looking to get a new appraisal completed on a home, the vast majority of the time of the appraisal is done by an honest appraiser that is concluding a fair value. However, there are situations in which an appraisal is done unethically and it results in appraisal fraud.

If an appraisal is done inaccurately and it does not reflect the true value of a home, it could be considered appraisal fraud. Under state and federal laws, violating the appraisal fraud laws could result in being charged with a federal crime. In general, appraisal fraud is part of a larger fraud that could include a variety of people including the appraiser, mortgage lender, the buyer, the seller, realtors, or anyone else that could benefit from the sale of the home.

Potential Penalties
While appraisal fraud may not seem like a very big deal when you are charged, there are actually some very severe penalties that come with the crime. If you are charged and found guilty of the crime, you will likely lose your appraiser’s license and will no longer be able to work as an appraiser. You may also be fined for any money that you have earned over a certain period of time in which the fraud took place.

Beyond the civil penalties and loss of license, you could also be facing some serious penalties that can come with federal or state charges. Under US Code and Section 1344, you could end up facing a penalty that will allow for a fine of $1 million and up to 30 years in jail. In these situations, your ultimate charge will be based on whether this was a recurring fraud and how significant any losses were that pertained to the fraud.

If you are charged with appraisal fraud, you likely will also face other charges as well. Since appraisal fraud will result in you directly defrauding the bank, it could also result in charges of bank fraud and wire fraud. Since it is such a serious situation, it would be a good idea to hire legal support to help you fight the charges if you are charged with appraisal fraud.

Types of Fraud Cases Handled
When you hire a NYC appraisal fraud defense lawyer, there are three main types of appraisal fraud that they will work on. One of the main forms of fraud is when an appraiser inflates the price of a home in order to allow a homeowner to either refinance an existing home mortgage or allow a buyer to purchase a new home.

An appraiser could also be charged with appraisal fraud if they were involved in a builder bailout scheme. In a builder bailout scheme, an appraiser will work with a builder to ensure that the homes that they are building appraiser for a certain value. This will then allow the builder to refinance their line of credit, or obtain new credit, in an attempt to continue to build their home building business.

The third type of fraud that an appraisal fraud defense attorney will provide support for is when an appraiser undervalues the value of the property. While most fraud involved appraising a home for too much, there are situations in which under-valuing a property could be advantageous. Depending on the situation, someone could benefit if a property is valued too low by an appraiser. This can include if there was a benefit form a short sale.

Benefits of Hiring a NYC Appraisal Fraud Lawyer
One of the main advantages of hiring an appraisal fraud defense lawyer is that they will be able to help you to build a quality defense strategy. There are a number of different strategies that are commonly followed to defend against appraisal fraud charges. One of the main forms of defense is to prove that the appraisal was done with the best intentions. Since there is a certain amount of opinions that go into determining the value of a home, it can be hard for a prosecutor to definitely say that fraud existed.

Another common form of defense is to say the appraiser did not benefit from the fraud. If the appraiser did not benefit in any way, such as earning additional fees or business, proving fraud can be hard.

If you are charged with appraisal fraud, you should contact an appraisal fraud defense attorney immediately. They will help you build a case to minimize any punishments and ensure your rights are represented.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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