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Real Estate Fraud – When The Deal Becomes a Crime

May 30, 2022 Federal Criminal Attorneys

It is estimated that real estate fraud in California is increasing by an average of 12% per year. In most instances, the victims are senior citizens. Most people who commit real estate fraud are not lawyers. However, there are some real estate lawyers who engage in fraudulent activities. If you believe that you have been the victim of real estate fraud, you should contact a real estate fraud lawyer to discuss your case.

If you have been charged with real estate fraud, you will need to hire a real estate fraud defense lawyer. Real estate fraud is a serious crime and you could be facing jail time and hefty fines if you are convicted. A real estate fraud defense lawyer will be able to help you build a strong defense and possibly get your charges reduced or dismissed.

You should look for a real estate fraud defense lawyer who has experience handling cases like yours. Ask for referrals from friends or family, or look for reviews online. Once you have found a few potential lawyers, schedule consultations so you can learn more about their experience and fees.

Be sure to ask your real estate fraud defense lawyer questions like how many cases like yours have they handled, what is their success rate, and how much will they charge you. It is important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer and that you understand their fees before hiring them.

Real estate fraud is a serious charge, so it is important to hire a qualified real estate fraud defense lawyer to help you with your case.

A real estate fraud lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim and, if so, what type of damages you may be entitled to. He or she can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case against the person or company that defrauded you.

If you have been the victim of real estate fraud, you should not hesitate to contact a lawyer. The sooner you do, the better your chances of recovering the money you are owed.

There are many ways to commit real estate fraud, most of which are relatively simple. For example, a person can advertise a property for sale, take a deposit from a potential buyer, but never deliver the property – this is called “bait and switch.” Or, a person can sell a property to several people and then disappear with the proceeds. Or a person can simply steal a property by taking title to it through fraudulent means.

If a real estate deal goes wrong, the damage can be very costly. In some instances, the loss is the amount of money that was invested in the property. In other cases, the loss can be far greater. For example, if a person purchasing a property loses a large deposit or has to pay a mortgage on a property they no longer own, the loss can be devastating.

If you are involved in a real estate deal, you should:

1. Inquire about the seller’s background and reputation. Get references, check public records, and get a recommendation from a real estate professional.

2. Check the property’s title to make sure there are no liens or other claims against it.

3. If you are paying a deposit on the property, do not pay it to the seller or anyone else until you have a written sales contract.

4. Do not sign any documents until you have read and understand them. If you do not understand a document, ask a lawyer to explain it to you.

5. Be wary of any deal that seems to be “too good to be true.”

Real Estate Fraud

The most common type of real estate fraud in the United States is home equity theft. This type of fraud occurs when a person uses a false identity, Social Security number, or other personal information to obtain a home equity loan or line of credit, and then uses the loan proceeds for personal expenses. The fraud is often not discovered until the borrower defaults on the loan, at which point the lender may foreclose on the property.

Other types of real estate fraud include deed theft, in which a person steals the deed to a property and then sells the property; title fraud, in which a person uses a false identity to obtain a mortgage or other loan on a property; and mortgage fraud, in which a person uses a false identity, Social Security number, or other personal information to obtain a mortgage or other loan on a property.

There are several ways to prevent real estate fraud. Home buyers and sellers should use a licensed real estate agent, and should verify the identity of the agent before entering into any transaction. Home buyers should also get a home inspection from a licensed inspector, and should obtain title insurance to protect themselves from title fraud.

If you believe that you have been a victim of real estate fraud, you should contact your local police department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sources:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0342-avoiding-real-estate-fraud

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/real-estate-fraud

https://www.homes.com/blog/2015/10/16/preventing-real-estate-fraud/

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/real-estate-fraud.asp

 

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