Toronto Mortgage Fraud Lawyers and Related Real Estate Offences
If you are on the wrong end of a charge of Mortgage Fraud in Toronto under the Criminal Code of Canada and the subject matter of the alleged offense involves a mortgage or real estate transaction, then it is imperative that you have a complete understanding of the essence of these crimes and how they are viewed by the Justice system.
Essentially, mortgage fraud can be committed when a person or corporation knowingly provides inaccurate, false, misleading or incomplete information to a lender in order to obtain a mortgage and the funds derived from it that they might not otherwise be entitled to. This could include anything from a person or corporation claiming to having a higher income or credit position than they actually have, to making available falsified proof of identification or a falsified (usually inflated) appraisal of the property at the heart of the transaction.
In the above paragraph, some of the mechanisms of real estate fraud are self-evident, but it is helpful to point out that in the case of falsified identification, the investor solicits the help of a “man of straw” – essentially an individual with substantially higher income or credit than the borrower, who provides his or her documentation to the lender, accepts title and immediately thereafter, executes a quit claim deed relinquishing all title in the real estate to the intended beneficiary of the alleged scheme.
The investor does not make any mortgage payments and perhaps, rents the real property until the lender initiates foreclosure or other collection procedures many months later. Both the applicant and the investor may then be considered parties to the offense of fraud.
Basically, there are two general categories of Mortgage Fraud: Fraud for Housing and Fraud for Profit.
FRAUD FOR HOUSING
In this category, a borrower may allegedly supply false or minimally inaccurate information about his or her qualification for the funds being advanced by the lender, usually a financial institution such as a bank or perhaps a private mortgage lender who may or may not be incorporated. This false information may consist of something as seemingly innocent as exaggerating their income or the nature of their employment and is usually done in order to qualify for the loan or to obtain more favourable repayments terms that will apply to the home they are purchasing.
FRAUD FOR PROFIT
This category of alleged mortgage fraud is occasionally described as “industry insider fraud” because it usually involves the cooperation, if not the active participation of a real estate broker, mortgage broker, appraiser or other real estate professional.
Such potentially illegal activity does not always involve active participation on the part of the real estate professional, either a mortgage broker or a sales agent. The so-called badge of fraud can be inferred (although not necessarily able to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt) by the professional’s failure to disclose or correct a material representation made by someone else which she or he knows to be false.
LEGAL ELEMENTS of MORTGAGE or REAL ESTATE FRAUD
As is suggested above, in any case of fraud, the representation, misrepresentation or factual omission must be material, that is to say, by law, this item must be something that the lender could potentially act upon to his detriment and reasonably effect his decision to make the loan in question.
In addition, before a court may render a verdict of guilty in relation to a fraud allegation of any kind under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Prosecution must advance evidence to support a finding of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person actually intended to make this misrepresentation, essentially knowing or in circumstances where he ought to have known, that the lender (in this case a financial institution or individual) would act upon it to it’s detriment, namely by advancing the mortgage funds under circumstances where it would be unlikely for them to do so, but for this representation.
The Criminal Law Team of Bruce Karten & Stephen Hebscher understand the need for an experienced legal defence when facing charges of mortgage fraud or real estate fraud. Be proactive, and call us now to discuss your case: Your best defence is a strong offence. See what our other clients are saying about us. We can help you too!
I came to Stephen Hebscher with a somewhat irregular case. Both my spouse and I had been mutually charged with domestic assault, a legal situation that neither of us had wished upon each other. While my spouse's lawyer had been content to seek mutually binding peace bonds, Stephen was able to get in front of the case and negotiate a withdrawal of both of our charges- the best possible outcome on BOTH sides of the table – once we successfully completing the PARs program. I remain entirely pleased with Stephen's competency, professionalism and accessibility, and would not hesitate to recommend him as a criminal defence lawyer. L.A.
Mr. Hebscher: I would like to thank you for your excellent representation of me in relation to the domestic assault charges that you worked so hard to have withdrawn. You have made a critical difference in my future and I am very happy with the outcome. I also appreciate your hard work, and the extra time and effort you have put in to deal with all the other issues that came along. I thank you for being a phone call away (or email) even when you did not have to be. I will gladly recommend your services to any of my friends or family should they ever need it. I am very grateful for what you have done.
I am impressed especially after our meeting on Monday – I was resigned that something bad would befall me, so I am very blessed to have this outcome. I thank you for the hard work that you have put into this case, and the dedication on getting me this fantastic outcome! I am so glad that we retained you as my lawyer! You have done an outstanding job and allowed me to now rebuild my life. Thank you, Bruce Karten.
Dave B. (Ajax, Ontario)
We were referred to Stephen Hebscher when our child was in need of legal representation. He was charged with sexual assault. As parents, we were quite frightened for our child but Mr. Hebscher was the calm voice of reason. We are very grateful to Mr. Hebscher for the excellent results he got for our child, as the charges were dropped.
J.N. (Toronto, Ontario)
Mr. Hebscher is a very professional lawyer who takes pride in his work and because of this the end result was the judge ruling me not guilty and I got my innocence and life back. My family and I would like to thank you again Stephen Hebscher for doing a wonderful job and also being a very supportive man.
Chris T. (Scarborough, Ontario)
I am happy to report that Bruce’s superior negotiation strategy and ability to present facts effectively helped convince the Crown to reduce his position. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for getting my charge withdrawn and keep my criminal record clean.
J.S (Toronto, Ontario)
I looked and found Barrister Stephen Hebscher I introduced myself and my case and after listening to all details he was able to ensure me that my case would go well. All charges against me have be thrown out and my life is back to normal.
Blair H. (North York)
Bruce ...The care and concern you showed us during our dealings certainly helped to reduce the stress we were under. I would recommend you without a second thought. Your winning record is a bonus as well. My husband and myself can't thank you enough for all you've done for our family.
Debi T. (Mississauga, Ontario)
Dear Mr. Hebscher...There are not enough words to express my appreciation for your...giving me your undivided attention at all times, work in my case with your heart and soul, that makes you "ONE OF A KIND" lawyer.
Ahmed A. (Brampton, Ontario)
Mr. Bruce Karten was able to help to extricate me from a very serious criminal case containing severe charges, including weapons –threat to use weapons, death threat, harassment,etc. He succeeded in winning my case. I was discharged; was able to keep my career, and no criminal record. This was a tremendous accomplishment, and I am very appreciative of that.
Nickolai V. (Toronto, Ontario)
Again, from the depth of our hearts we sincerely thank you very much for being my Counsel on this case. We now can say you are the BEST and we will surely recommend you to our friends and anybody here we know who needs the best Lawyer in Ontario. You have done an extremely good job and we are very happy with the outcome this morning.
Roman A. (Markham, Ontario)
Mr. Hebscher was the only lawyer who gave me hope and made me feel like I had a real fighting chance. I am extremely satisfied with the quick results that he delivered, and I am happy to say that he was able to convince the court to drop the charges against me and clear my name.
Tina M. (Toronto, Ontario)