Some North Carolina residents may think it is harmless to put false information on a credit card application. Many financial institutions do not require individuals to submit documents such as pay stubs or tax returns as part of the credit card application process. However, intentionally lying on an application may count as bank fraud and lead to criminal charges.

You need immediate legal if you are accused or charged with bank fraud. Learn more about how fraud related to credit card applications works and then contact a knowledgeable white collar criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights.

Fraud related to credit card applications

In many cases, the most significant factor in getting approval for a credit card is an applicant’s income. An article from U.S. News and World Report indicates that while financial institutions may use an applicant’s credit score to determine eligibility for a credit card, income is usually a key factor. Legal regulations designed to protect consumers from predatory lending practices make it necessary for most lenders to follow income requirements before approving credit card applications. Some individuals accidentally lie on credit card applications by including the wrong types of income, such as a parent’s salary or disbursements from a student loan. However, other applicants knowingly report higher income in order to qualify for a credit card. If the financial institution discovers the lie, it may choose to pursue criminal charges. 

Serious penalties for bank fraud

According to FindLaw, bank fraud describes actions intended to defraud a financial institution or obtain funds or assets by false means. Bank fraud is a federal crime with potential penalties including, millions of dollars in fines and decades in prison. While many people think of actions such as forging or stealing checks as common examples of bank fraud, lying on a credit card application may also lead to criminal charges. Prosecution for fraudulent credit card applications may not be a common occurrence, but it is still a possibility. 

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The criminal defense attorneys at Frasier & Griffin, PLLC, can help you protect your rights and freedom. Learn more about how they can help you by contacting the firm and scheduling your first meeting.