Mortgage fraud is very prevalent in Nevada. This is a complex crime so if you have been charged with mortgage fraud, you definitely need an attorney.


What is mortgage fraud?

Mortgage fraud is a broad term that describes a number of different activities that are intended to secure a mortgage loan from a financial institution such as a bank but use deceptive practices to do so when under normal circumstances the loan would not be given.

The homeowner is not the only party that can engage in fraud. Anyone at any point of the process can commit the crime.


What is the Nevada mortgage fraud law?

Nevada law, NRS 205.372 – Mortgage lending fraud; penalties; civil action provides descriptions for various types of mortgage fraud and gives the specific elements of the criminal activity. For instance, the person has to knowingly make false statements or knowingly use that false statement to get a loan while willfully participating in a mortgage lending transaction. This could be the lender, the homeowner, an appraiser, or an outside company.

The penalties for the crime are also included in this statute. It is a serious crime and the state doles out harsh punishment for it.


What are the three most common types of mortgage fraud in Las Vegas?

There are many different types of mortgage fraud, but the most common in Nevada are:

  • Fake Mortgage Loan Modification – A private company contacts a homeowner who is behind on their mortgage payments and offers a refinance opportunity with promises of lowering the principal loan balance that they owe or giving them a more attractive interest rate or other perks. They claim to be helping the homeowner avoid foreclosure but do little more than charge very high fees and don’t do much to help the homeowner get relief. These are scams and they are illegal.
  • Providing fake or false information when getting a mortgage or applying for a loan – The loan officer or the homeowner can do this in an effort to get an approval. Many people mistakenly believe that this behavior is a civil matter, but it is actually criminal.
  • Fraudulent appraisals – The appraiser alters the appraisal by including false information such as inflating the home’s value so that the homeowner can get a larger loan. They may even accept a bribe to do so.

Although these crimes are the most popular types of mortgage fraud in Nevada, the law covers many more. In fact, it is a broadly written statute that includes any person who uses false information of any type or who conceals information of any type in an effort to obtain a mortgage.


What are the defenses against mortgage fraud?

There are several common defenses that may be used against mortgage fraud:

  • There was not intent to defraud
  • The defendant was accused falsely
  • The police obtained the evidence through unlawful search and seizure or asset forfeiture.

It is the job of the defense attorney to raise a reasonable doubt regarding the defendant’s guilt.


What are the penalties for mortgage fraud in Las Vegas?

In Nevada, a first offense mortgage fraud is classified as a Category C Felony. This means that if convicted, the accused could spend as many as 10 years in a Nevada state prison. They could also be required to pay up to $10.000 in fines.

If the prosecution is able to prove that the defendant has a pattern of mortgage fraud, the classification of the crime is increased to a Category B Felony. This carries a minimum of three years in a Nevada state prison, up to a maximum of 20 years in a Nevada state prison. It also imposes a fine of up to $50.000.

The defendant may also be required to pay restitution to the victim if they are convicted. It doesn’t matter if they are a first time offender or if they have multiple offenses on their record, they must pay restitution which includes not only what the victim lost, but also any fees that are associated with the perpetration of the fraud.



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