Lending money is a dangerous business model. No matter what kind of collateral secures the loan and how good someone’s credit score is, there’s always the risk that they will default on the loan. Lenders lose money when they need to foreclose on a home or pursue a judgment against a borrower who hasn’t paid back their loan in full.
Carefully vetting your ability to repay helps them minimize their risks and how much it costs to borrow money. When you provide financial information to a bank when you apply for a loan, you have an obligation to be honest. In fact, many financial institutions have signage openly displayed and warning in their paperwork about the potential consequences of misrepresenting your financial or legal circumstances when applying.
Still, if you need to qualify for a loan, whether it is a personal loan or a mortgage, you may feel like it is a victimless crime to slightly alter your personal details. That could lead the serious criminal charges.
Financial crimes are often felonies
Both mortgage fraud and banking fraud often result in felony charges against the person accused. Lying about your employment status would give a lender a false idea about your ability to pay them back. You could get caught if you later default on the loan, especially if you have outright falsified the information by claiming a job you don’t have.
Lying about the assets that you own could also be enough to trigger fraud charges after a default. If convicted, you could face penalties such as an obligation to pay restitution to the lender involved or even jail time. Understanding what kinds of misrepresentations may lead to felony fraud charges can help you avoid making dangerous financial mistakes.