Real Estate Fraud Lawyer Explains Double Selling Charge
Double selling is a type of real estate fraud. Because double selling usually involves fraudulent mortgage loans, a defendant who is accused of this offense could be charged with state residential mortgage fraud crimes as well as with federal offenses including bank fraud. The potential penalties for federal offenses could include decades of imprisonment, so charges need to be taken seriously.
A New York City criminal defense lawyer at Bukh Law Firm can provide you with legal advice and can represent your interests if you are accused of double selling.
Our experienced real estate fraud lawyers understand the complexities associated with claims of fraudulent mortgage loans and we can work hard to introduce reasonable doubt to help you avoid being found guilty of a double selling fraud offense.
What is Double Selling?
Double selling is a type of real estate or mortgage fraud that generally involves a mortgage broker. The mortgage broker takes the information from a potential borrower in order to obtain a mortgage loan. The borrower is usually in on the mortgage fraud scam. The loan application is sent to different warehouse lenders, all of whom are asked to fund the loan. The different lenders all approve the loan and closings are scheduled within a few days of each other so the lenders do not learn of the multiple transactions. Each of the different lenders issues the loans, and then there are competing claims against a single property from each lender.
Double selling could also take the form of a homeowner selling a single property twice, obtaining funds from each buyer. The closings are also scheduled close to each other, so neither buyer (or lender) is aware of the fact that the house is being sold twice. Again, multiple mortgage lenders could be left with competing claims against a single property. In this case, the two different borrowers who unknowingly purchased the same home could also face financial loss and complex legal questions.
Penalties for Double Selling
Penalties for double selling depend upon the type of double selling that occurred, as well as a defendant’s role in the real estate fraud scam.
When a mortgage broker submits a loan application to multiple lenders, this could lead to criminal charges under 18 U.S. Code Section 1344. This federal law defines bank fraud as participation in any scheme or artifice that is likely to result in a financial institute providing money under fraudulent or false pretenses.
When charged with a federal crime for double selling, the stakes are very high. A conviction could result in a 30 year prison sentence and a fine up to $1 million. Because the loan documents are fraudulently submitted using either the mail or electronic transfer, a defendant could also be charged with wire fraud or mail fraud. Both of these offenses also carry a possible penalty of $1 million and three decades in prison if a financial institution is affected.
Double selling schemes involving mortgage brokers typically have multiple participants in the scam, including the broker and the buyer whose loan application is submitted to multiple lenders. Under federal conspiracy laws (18 U.S. Code Section 1349), anyone who conspires to commit an offense can face full penalties for the underlying crimes. This means any participant in the double selling scheme could be charged with the offenses that are committed by all co-conspirators.
New York also addresses mortgage fraud offenses in Penal Code Article 187. Mortgage fraud in New York is a felony, unless the fraud scheme only resulted in $1,000 or less in improper funds being obtained.
Getting Help from a New York City Real Estate Fraud Lawyer
Anyone accused of double selling needs to determine options for defending against charges or negotiating a plea agreement. A New York City real estate fraud lawyer at Bukh Law Firm can provide you with skilled legal advice from attorneys with extensive experience on real estate fraud cases.
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