Real estate fraud is an all too common problem. There are many complexities with investing in real estate and investors might not know everything. One mistake can set things dramatically off course, but mistakes can be separated from fraud especially when someone doesn’t show any interest in resolving issues that come up.
Fraud may be suspected if:
- The terms of a sale are different than expected.
- There are discrepancies in the title or closing.
- One property owner doesn’t share rental income with the other.
- One party attempts to take another’s name off the title.
- False information is used to take advantage of another party.
- A person or party misrepresents their role in a real estate transaction.
Establishing a fraud claim can be challenging, but a Los Angeles real estate attorney can help you through the process. The legal process of winning a fraud case is tough. Your attorney must prove several things that point to the party in question engaging in fraud. To do so, they need to prove important information was concealed or falsely represented, or not all the relevant details were properly disclosed.
You also need to prove:
- The defendant was aware of a concealed fact.
- There was an intentional act of deception (with false information or nondisclosure).
- You were dependent on trusted information that was false.
- Damages were suffered as a result of the defendant’s:
- Concealment of information
- Misrepresentation of details
Most instances of real estate fraud are financial in nature, often involving mortgage loan fraud. A borrower may falsify loan applications or make misrepresentations involving credit. Important information may be omitted during a transaction. Common types of fraud in real estate include:
- Borrower fraud on the part of someone trying to obtain a title.
- Lender fraud by someone looking to profit from a transaction.
- Misrepresentations of professional licensing and credentials.
- False advertising property information.
- Stealing a borrower’s identity for personal gain.
- Questionable practices such as property flipping.
An individual can face criminal penalties for fraud, including fines, prison sentences, and restitution that compensates others for the losses suffered due to fraudulent activities.
How a Real Estate Attorney Can Help
Fraud generally cannot be suspected or proven just through an unintentional mistake. A level of intent must be established to hold a person or party liable. There can be multiple parties involved in the case of real estate; sometimes, the lender and borrower may collaborate to knowingly conduct an act of fraud.
Oaktree Law specializes in various aspects of real estate. From contract negotiations and review to corporate planning, real estate closings, and title review, we can assist you in every step of the process. Every real estate transaction comes with its own circumstances and challenges. Our attorneys are well-versed in all types of transactions and real estate cases, and have your legal rights covered. For a consultation, legal advice, and guidance, contact our Los Angeles real estate attorney at 562-219-2979 or request a free evaluation today.