Real Estate Fraud
What is Real Estate Fraud?
Real estate fraud occurs when one party intentionally uses false information or false representation in order to gain an advantage during a real estate transaction. Real estate fraud can come in many forms, and may involve more than one party. Some real estate fraud claims can involve many victims, resulting in a class action lawsuit.
For instance, a seller may make misrepresentations when it comes to defects in the home, or when it comes to the sales price. Such misrepresentations are not allowed under real estate laws, and may result in severe legal penalties.
What are Some Common Types of Real Estate Fraud?
Real estate fraud can occur at various different points in the transaction, and can involve many different issues. Some common types of real estate fraud include:
- Mortgage fraud: This can include fraudulent contracts, dishonest interest rates, and unfair monthly payment terms.
- Foreclosure fraud: Some persons may seek to obtain title to a home through fraudulent foreclosure schemes.
- Misrepresentation of credentials: You should beware of persons who hold themselves out to be real estate agents or brokers, but are practicing illegally. Be sure to check for credentials when dealing with real estate professionals
- Listing agreement fraud: There are various laws dealing with how a home can be listed in a local real estate listing. Violations of these laws can sometimes be the subject of a lawsuit.
Other types of real estate fraud may involve fraudulent deeds and titles, fake documents, and fraudulent representations of boundary lines.
How Can Real Estate Fraud be Prevented?
As mentioned, one way to help prevent real estate fraud is to do a thorough check for credentials whenever dealing with real estate agents or brokers. You want to make sure that each person you are dealing with is fully licensed to practice in your state.
Another way to help prevent fraud is to obtain an appraisal of your home. This is where a professional estimates the value of your home according to strict state and local standards. This can help eliminate any contentions regarding the fair market value of your home. This is especially important to consider if you are attempting to conduct a sale of your home.
Legal remedies for real estate fraud typically involve a damages award to compensate the plaintiff for their losses. For instance, they may be able to receive compensation for profits on a sale that were lost due to the fraud.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Real Estate Fraud Lawsuits?
Real estate fraud is a major issue that can lead to substantial losses for the plaintiff. It’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer if you are facing any real estate fraud issues. Also, you may want to hire a lawyer early on during the negotiations phases, which can help prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.
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Last Modified: 08-01-2013 10:01 AM PDT
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