Federal law provides that anyone who knowingly makes a false statement to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured institution for the purpose of influencing its action on any application or loan or deferring action on them "shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned for not more than thirty years, or both."

To say the least, this criminal law, intended to protect banks and hence the deposit insurance fund, is very, very rarely enforced against consumers. Why?

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