Legal Question in Business Law in California

My disabled friend was living with his child and the baby mama moved in and he slept on the couch. He has a brain injury. This woman forged a signature to remove him from the lease and then sent that in to HUD. The leasing company accepted the signature without his presence, witnessed or notarized and took him off the lease without his knowledge. Then HUD used that document as proof of him not living there and he lost all of his benefits. The signature does not match the signature on his licence nor on the original lease. He is very ill and now has no medical because it was tied to the housing. I do not believe it is legal to accept a document that has not been authenticated in some way. I believe the leasing company is partially liable. am I correct?

Asked on 8/23/13, 8:11 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green

Not sure how the leasing company is liable. I'd don't see how they breached and don't see what duty they owed when she perpetuated the entire thing... She did it, she is liable

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Answered on 8/23/13, 10:10 pm

Keith E. Cooper Keith E. Cooper, Esq.

The types of documents you mention probably don't require notarization or that the person receiving them independently verify the signature. However, forging a signature on a legal document is a criminal act, and you could make a police report. Because this involves HUD, a federal agency, you might also contact the FBI. From your description, it sounds as if, in addition, the woman intended to perpetrate a fraud on a federal agency.

Even if you don't want to get the police involved, at the very least your friend should notify the building's management and HUD to see if they can help straighten this out. Be sure to send a letter, even if you first contact them by phone. If you have notified them that the signature is forged and they do nothing to investigate, then they might share some liability to your friend.

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Answered on 9/09/13, 5:21 pm

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