Is changing my contract to get FHOG increase a crime?

by Chris Lang on October 27, 2008

In one word – YES.

If you have missed on the new increased FHOG (First Home Owners Grant) because your contract was dated a couple of days before they announced the boosted FHOG, it sure is annoying. It may also seem perfectly natural to just change the date on the contract and collect the extra money. But make no mistake – it’s definitely illegal and anyone who has made a contract before 14 October, 2008, or after 30 June, 2009 is not entitled to the boosted FHOG.

So why changing a date is such a crime? According to the real estate lawyer Peter Mericka it falls in the category called “obtaining a property by deception” and can easily get you up to 10 years in prison! And if the idea of changing the date came from a real estate agent or a conveyancer – they could be charged with a criminal offence as well for assisting you. Another scary consequence of this change can be that your contract becomes invalid and your bank could withdraw the mortgage approval. In that case you wouldn’t be able to proceed to the settlement and would loose your deposit.

As you can see, getting the extra $7000 in the wrong way can get you in a lot of trouble – so think twice before you do anything foolish.

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