Friday, July 9, 2010

The Tightening Net of Mortgage Fraud - What To Do If You Have Been Arrested for Mortgage Fraud

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses What To Do If You Have Been Arrested for Mortgage Fraud (a white collar crime).

Issue:

Of the 50 states, Florida holds the unsavory title of being No. 1 in mortgage fraud.  The combination of the recession, plummeting housing prices, and high levels of unemployment create the perfect storm for high levels of mortgage fraud.




Why This Matters To You:

As mortgage fraud runs rampant across the country, high profile federal task forces have been setup to address the crime.  In fact, one such federal task force has been dedicated to Florida, no doubt due to the State’s No. 1 ranking in mortgage fraud.
For example, in November, federal prosecutors announced a nine-month investigation that had identified more than 100 defendants and 700 properties from Tampa and Orlando to Jacksonville and Fort Myers.

This tightening net and increased focus on mortgage fraud by the State of Florida and the Feds has the potential to nab more and more defendants in Florida for mortgage fraud.  In many cases defendants unknowingly or unwittingly create the fraud only to see their lives potentially pulled apart when law enforcement comes calling.

If you have been accused or arrested for mortgage fraud in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, or Sarasota County, Florida it is important that you contact an experienced St. Petersburg Mortgage Fraud Attorney to protect your rights.

In many Mortgage Fraud cases there are potential defenses that may be utilized to reduce the charges, or even have the charges dropped altogether:

·         Lack of Intent
·         Mistaken Identity
·         Failure to Read Miranda Warnings
·         Insufficient Proof


What To Do Next:

If You Are Arrested For Mortgage Fraud:

1. Don't speak to the police - ask to have an attorney present.
2. Don't give a written statement – again, ask to have an attorney present.
3. Contact an attorney immediately.


It is equally important to engage an attorney quickly as you have a very narrow window of time between when you are arrested and when the State Attorney’s Office and/or U.S. Attorney’s Office makes a decision to file a criminal charge against you.  Hiring an attorney immediately to negotiate on your behalf with the state attorney’s office gives you the best chance of avoiding criminal charges for Mortgage Fraud.

If you have been arrested for Mortgage Fraud in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, or Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, contact a St. Petersburg Mortgage Fraud Attorney to discuss possible defenses that may exist in your case. Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney.