Is Housing Fraud Rising In Cities Like Rochester?


Rochester, NY is a city that has plenty of opportunities for people to take advantage of programs that have been put in place to help people. As such, things like housing fraud are more common than you might imagine. Knowing if housing fraud is going up and a bit about what it is can help you identify issues and potentially stop fraud.

What is Housing Fraud?

Housing fraud is a type of fraud that involves the theft of HUD funds and other housing program funds by businesses or individuals. Fraud is an intentional deception, these individuals and companies know that the theft is wrong, but they continue to do it regardless. This can be fraud involving things like lying about income to qualify for income-based housing, lying about section 8 housing, and even having more people living in the home than there should be. Housing fraud is a very serious issue that takes away funds and housing from those that actually need it.

Housing fraud can also take the form of mortgage fraud. Researchers believe data breaches exposed over 4 billion records in 2019, and many of those involved mortgages. Mortgage fraud can mean refinancing a home multiple times to get equity and more. Though it might not seem like a huge issue, it can be very difficult to prosecute and rather difficult to disprove if you are accused of it.

Is Housing Fraud on the Rise?

Though it might not seem like a huge issue that is very widespread, the number of cases involving housing fraud has gone up in recent years. According to a Court statistics report, only 11% of those cases that were appealed were actually reversed in 2016. This means that when cases such as housing fraud come up and are prosecuted, they may be difficult to have overturned. In larger cities like Rochester where there are plenty of public housing developments and where there are more people, fraud is more common than in more rural areas.

Housing fraud is more likely to occur in times of financial hardship, in times when rates are up, and when people are less likely to have steady jobs with good incomes. When housing fraud is suspected, it is necessary to collect information, to make certain that the case is solid, and that all the facts have been taken into account. An attorney will work to prove that there was some deception and that the main aim was to deceive on purpose.

More People Are Moving Out of the Cities

Though more people are moving out of the cities, with only around 16% of first-time buyers actually looking for homes in the city, fraud is now easier than ever. We are currently living in a day and age where finding a steady job, making enough money to pay your rent or pay for a mortgage, and making sure you have enough money is harder than ever. In these cases, it may seem like housing fraud is a good idea, that it is the only idea, and that your options are limited.

There are some great statistics on housing fraud and sites like Rochesterlavoz keep track of them and publish some great resources. Housing fraud is something that is not necessary and that can be prosecuted by a court of law if the defendant is found guilty of it.

The punishment for housing fraud can take the form of a few different things. If you are convicted of housing fraud or mortgage fraud, for example, you can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. In many cases, however, the fraud is not as large and the sentence is around a year in prison and perhaps the possibility of probation. Housing fraud is difficult, it can be hard to pinpoint and it can be hard to prosecute as well.