Criminal Defense Attorney Hope Lefeber Discusses Mortgage Fraud Restitution

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Hope Lefeber, the leading federal criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, discusses a current U.S. Supreme Court case, Robers v. United States. If a home loan is obtained with fraudulent information and the borrower defaults on the loan, how much restitution is owed by the defendant where the lender has already received the collateral?

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If a home loan is obtained with fraudulent information and the borrower defaults on the loan, how much restitution is owed by the defendant where the lender has already received the collateral?

Hope Lefeber, the leading federal criminal defense attorney in Philadephia discusses a current U.S. Supreme Court case, Robers v. United States. The case will decide whether the loss is to be determined on the date that the collateral is seized or on the date of sentencing.

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Robers v. United States, case number 12-9012, to resolve a conflict among lower courts on the method that federal judges use to determine how much restitution a convicted individual must pay to the victim. Hope C. Lefeber, a leading Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer, discusses the case.

According to court documents, for case number 12-9012, the issue at stake is whether an individual who purchased houses on the basis of false information and then defaults on the loans satisfies some or all of the legal obligation to pay restitution to the lenders or mortgage insurers if the houses covered by the scheme are returned to them. The federal courts are split on whether such a return can satisfy, at least partly, the duty to make the victim whole under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act.

In Robers, the court will address 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. Often the value of the collateral is far greater when it is initially foreclosed upon, than later on, after many additional costs are incurred by the lender.

Lefeber states, “Previously, the Seventh Circuit Court ruled that the return of the property does not satisfy the restitution duty, since that must cover what the victims actually lost in financial terms. In this case, the difference is substantial: the individual involved, Benjamin Robers, faces a duty to pay nearly $220,000 when he believed his obligation was limited to $4,800.”

About Hope C. Lefeber:

Hope C. Lefeber is a practicing federal criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University School of Law. Ms. Lefeber is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Association, Federal Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Philadelphia Bar Association and numerous other criminal defense groups. Ms. Lefeber has represented many high-profile clients, published numerous articles, lectured on federal criminal law issues, taught Continuing Legal Education classes to other Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers and has appeared on television news as a legal expert. Ms. Lefeber specializes in the defense of white-collar crime, drug crimes and appeals and is the managing member of her Philadelphia-based law firm, Hope C. Lefeber, LLC.

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