“Real Housewives” star faces 50 years in mortgage fraud case

Teresa Giudice’s home loans underscore lenders’ leniency in boom years
August 01, 2013 04:00PM

Teresa Giudice, star of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” has been charged with 39 counts of fraud, ranging from mortgage fraud to tax evasion, along with her husband Joe, according to Zillow’s blog.

Teresa stands accused of falsely stating that she had a job as an executive assistant, enabling the duo to nab larger mortgages between 2001 and 2008. When she later filed for bankruptcy protection, the Giudices allegedly hid income Teresa was pulling in for her role on the Bravo TV reality show, which ultimately lead to another fraud charge.

The couple reportedly had eight mortgages out on three different homes when they filed for bankruptcy in 2010, with a stated income of $79,000.

At the time of the alleged fraud, lenders were more lenient throughout the loan process, Erin Lantz, director of mortgages at Zillow, told the site’s blog.

“Back in the boom years, there were a fair number of banks that didn’t require documentation to include in your application,” Lantz said. “It’s possible in those years she was applying for a no- or low-documentation type of loan, or the processes in the underwriter group were more lenient.”

In addition to getting the boot from “Real Housewives,” the Guiduces could face 50 years in prison, according to Zillow. [Zillow]Julie Strickland