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Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud in the state of Iowa, like in many other states, is a serious criminal offense that involves intentionally providing false information or misrepresenting facts in order to obtain a mortgage loan. This fraudulent activity can occur at various stages of the mortgage process, from the initial loan application to the closing of the deal.

Mortgage fraud undermines the integrity of the real estate market and can lead to significant financial losses for lenders, homeowners, and the overall economy.

Defense Attorneys for Mortgage Fraud in Polk County, Iowa

Have you been accused of forgery, fraud or another deceptive financially motivated crime? If so, then we implore you to secure trusted legal counsel. One great option is to go with the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. We have been practicing white collar crimes for years and have the right experience to combat your charges.

Get in touch with us by calling (515) 279-9700 and we will set up your first consultation free. There our lawyers can sit with you and discuss a defense plan for your case in further detail. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County such as Adel, Waukee, Dallas Center, Perry, and De Soto.

Mortgage Fraud Information Center

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Understanding Mortgage Fraud

Iowa does not have a specific statute that exclusively addresses mortgage fraud. However, mortgage fraud cases in the state are typically prosecuted under existing fraud and deceptive practices laws. For instance, Iowa Code Section 714.1 encompasses general fraud offenses, while Section 714.8 specifically addresses false pretenses and statements.

Prosecutors may also invoke federal laws, such as the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which allows for the prosecution of individuals involved in financial institution fraud, including mortgage fraud.

Mortgage fraud can take various forms, but some common types include:

Income Fraud

This involves misrepresenting one’s income to qualify for a larger mortgage loan than would otherwise be approved.

Occupancy Fraud

Lying about the intended use of the property, such as claiming it will be a primary residence when the real intention is investment or rental.

Appraisal Fraud

Providing inaccurate information about the value of the property to secure a larger loan or a better interest rate.

Identity Theft

Using someone else’s identity to apply for a mortgage loan.

Straw Buyer Schemes

Involving a third party, known as a straw buyer, to apply for a mortgage on behalf of someone who is unable to secure a loan themselves.

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Penalties for Mortgage Fraud in Iowa

Mortgage fraud is a criminal offense in Iowa, and those found guilty may face severe penalties. The specific penalties vary depending on the nature and extent of the fraud, but they can include:


Individuals convicted of mortgage fraud may be sentenced to prison. The length of the sentence is often determined by factors such as the amount of money involved and the level of deception.


Offenders may be required to pay fines, which can be substantial, especially if the fraud resulted in significant financial losses.


Courts may order individuals convicted of mortgage fraud to repay any financial losses suffered by victims.

Forfeiture of Assets

In some cases, the court may order the forfeiture of assets obtained through fraudulent mortgage activities.


Offenders may be placed on probation, during which they must adhere to specific conditions set by the court.
The exact penalty for mortgage fraud depends on the amount of damage caused by said fraud. This means that those committing mortgage fraud may face being charged with anything from a Class “A” misdemeanor to a Class “B” Felony, the latter of which may carry as much as 25 years in prison.

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Defenses Against Mortgage Fraud Charges

Individuals accused of mortgage fraud may employ various defenses to challenge the charges. Some common defenses include:

Lack of Intent

Mortgage fraud requires intentional deception. If the accused can demonstrate that they did not intend to deceive or defraud, it may be a valid defense.

Mistaken Identity

In cases involving identity theft, the accused may argue that they were not the ones who committed the fraudulent acts.

Lack of Materiality

The false information provided must be material to the lender’s decision to approve the loan. If the misinformation did not impact the lender’s decision, it may be a viable defense.

Legal Advice

If individuals relied on legal advice or the guidance of professionals in the mortgage process, they may argue that they were not aware of any fraudulent activity.

Procedural Errors

Defendants may challenge the legal procedures followed during their investigation or arrest, asserting that their rights were violated.

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Hire a Mortgage Fraud Defense Lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa | McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a fraudulent practice, then it’s important you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. We suggest you set up an appointment with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our defense lawyers can discuss your charges, set up a defense plan and do whatever we can to assist you.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has represented numerous people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Altoona, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and Polk City.