While many UK solicitors offer mortgage fraud services, it is important to keep several things in mind when dealing with one of these types of cases.
As several recent cases have shown, choosing to appeal can actually result in a stiffer fine being faced if an Upper Tribunal upholds an earlier court decision in a case of mortgage fraud. With the number of cases increasing each year, the choice of the right mortgage fraud lawyers is more important than ever as citizens, both guilty and innocent, face costly mortgage fraud accusations.
One particular example that has been noted in recent news stories is with Nazia Bi, a mortgage adviser that chose to appeal the initial fine that was delivered from the Financial Services Authority. In this particular case the initial fine levied by the FSA was £15,000.
Rather than take the sentence and pay the fine, Bi decided to take the matter to an Upper Tribunal. She did not try to contest the findings of the original case, but rather appealed the amount of the fine that was issued against her. The end result of this appeal was that she was faced with a £25,000 penalty following the investigation of her case, showing the lack of tolerance that the judicial system has towards serious fraud solicitors.
The crux behind the majority of these new solicitors’ fraud cases has to do with using inaccurate information to procure a mortgage. The criminal fraud arises from the very nature of the business and how a mortgage adviser is able to generate profits.
These fraud solicitors are only able to charge a commission when they successfully negotiate a mortgage loan. Therefore, to increase their personal profit, they present false information to get the mortgages approved. In another example that made major headlines, mortgage adviser Joseph Chinedu Nwosu was found guilty of 14 individual cases of mortgage fraud in slightly more than two years. His penalty was £200,000 and is the largest ever levied for mortgage fraud.
While the 14 instances stood as strong evidence of Nwoso’s guilt, other cases may not be so clear and it may seem that an appeal could be a good idea. With the trend showing that appeals could backfire in a financially expensive way, the expertise of a professional solicitor will be needed to make this decision.
The courts have been consistent in showing that they will no longer tolerate mortgage fraud and are more than willing to impose high fines for a person that engages in this type of behavior.
In addition, taking the case to a higher court was effective in previous years at lowering the total amount of the fine that must be paid, but this is no longer the case. Those convicted of mortgage fraud can reasonably expect that not only will they not see the amount of their fine decrease, but it could also be increased as well.
The responsibility of a good solicitor is to advise their client of the potential options, such as an appeal, and both the positive and negative possibilities that could come from each action
The solution to the problem may be in choosing the right defense team from the start. A good solicitor will need to have a working knowledge of not only mortgage fraud, but also be able to gauge the atmosphere of the court system and know when an appeal will be a worthwhile effort and when it could end up costing much more than it is worth.
Solicitors like Richard Nelson in the city of Nottingham have a well established history of working with criminal fraud and taking the right legal actions to protect the interests of their clients.