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Federal Mortgage Fraud Case to be Decided by Supreme Court

Oct 22, 2013 | Fraud |

In a white collar mortgage fraud case, how does a district court calculate the “offset value” under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act when some of the money obtained through a fraudulent loan is returned by giving the lenders the collateral that secures the money. The Supreme Court of the United States granted a writ of certiorari in Robers v. United States, No. 12-9012 to decide this issue. This matters for clients when, due to market forces, the value of the collateral declines after foreclosure and before the lender sells the collateral.

The 7th Circuit opinion below describes a split in the circuits on this issue: “The Second, Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held that in a mortgage fraud case, the offset value should be based on the fair market value of the real estate collateral at the time the victims obtain title to the houses… Conversely, the Third, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits (and a dissent from the Ninth Circuit) have concluded that it is proper to determine the offset value based on the eventual amount recouped by the victim following sale of the collateral real estate.” The 7th joined with the 3rd, 8th and 10th leaving us with a split amongst the circuits that the Supreme Court must resolve.

The question presented to the Supreme Court is: “Whether a defendant – who has fraudulently obtained a loan and thus owes restitution for the loan under 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(1)(B) – returns “any part” of the loan money by giving the lenders the collateral that secures the money?”

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