2nd December 2013
At O’Garra’s Solicitors, our specialist mortgage fraud lawyers have extensive experience in defending the increasing number of cases being brought to court in the UK. We take a considered and sympathetic approach to the many cases we are involved in, and our systematic approach to defending our clients delivers results. Whether you are currently being investigated for fraud or you have already been charged – we are here to represent your interests and defend the action vociferously and professionally.
The stark facts surrounding mortgage fraud in the UK
According to credit exerts Experian, more and more people are being pursued by the authorities because of alleged mortgage fraud. Lenders have not only tightened their lending criteria, they are pursuing people who they believe have lied about their circumstances in order to get approved for a mortgage. Mortgage fraud cases, according to Experian, rose by 23 percent between 2011 and 2012, and lenders are pursuing suspected cases with increased vigour and determination. Of the 10,000 mortgage applications made in the second quarter of 2012, 39 were proven to be fraudulent, and the consequences for those convicted can culminate in custodial sentences.
Lenders are more reluctant than ever to grant seemingly risky mortgages, so they are refusing an unprecedented number of mortgage applications. This difficulty to obtain home loans, combined with the need for significant deposits, is persuading some applicants to exaggerate their incomes or be less than honest during the application process.
Mortgage fraud can involve the submission of false statements of any description in order to qualify for a property loan. However, around a quarter of mortgage fraud cases involve people lying about their income. Other types of fraud include lying about employment and providing misleading information related to the applicant’s credit history. Although many of these mistakes were made through sheer desperation or ignorance, the authorities have been swift and merciless when it comes to prosecution and punishment.
As costs of living continue to rise, and wages levels remain stagnant, it seems that mortgage fraud will continue to be a problem in the UK for some time to come. Rather than skilled and experienced ‘career’ criminals being targeted by the authorities, it is often ordinary people – struggling to make ends meet – who are falling foul of the law. Misrepresenting information and exaggerating the financial aspects of an application are often looked upon as ‘victimless’ crimes or petty infringements of terms and conditions. However, the law treats such actions as fraud – a fact that more and more ordinary, hard-working people are finding out only when it’s too late.
We can help
At O’Garra’s Solicitors, our criminal solicitors in Leeds will listen to the circumstances of your case with an open mind and a sympathetic ear. We only deal in the facts, and we will never attempt to preempt the circumstances surrounding your particular situation. We operate on a 24-hours-a-day basis, so we are available to provide help and assistance at any time of the day.
We are experienced at providing legal counsel and advice at police stations, and our lawyers have first-hand knowledge of how to approach interviews under caution. From the moment you are cautioned, we will be there to advise you of your legal rights and to represent your best interests.