Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I'm think I am a victim of fraud.

I was approved for a home loan. Then my broker informed me that my credit dropped, so I needed a co-signer. My co-signer signed for me. Our loan was approved, and we signed docks. After a week the loan never funded. The owners closed escrow on the home.

My husband and I lived in the home we were supposed to purchase paying the mortgage for three months. I was asked if I wanted to pay for the HART Program which offered assistance by paying the down payment. I gave my broker 500.00 to enroll me. After signing docks we were told that the lending company does not accept the HART Program, so I asked to be refunded my 500.00.

After our loan was cancelled I attempted to collect my 500.00 when the broker gave me one excuse after another. I decided to notify HART for myself, and received an E-mail stating I was never enrolled, nor did they have my money.

My concerns are this company never intended on us purchasing this home we was paying the mortgage for because by us not being enrolled in HART we had no way of making a down payment.

It took me a couple of months to get my money back, but it was not from HART. Do I have a legal case against the broker, and the lending company?

Asked on 12/20/05, 5:08 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: I'm think I am a victim of fraud.

An attorney would need a lot more facts in order to form an opinion as to whether anyone was liable to you, and whether the liability would be for fraud or negligence, or maybe even just simple breach of contract.

Several facts one would need to know:

1) Was an escrow involved?

2) Were you represented by a real estate professional?

3) Did you receive a deed?

4) When did you move in to the house you were trying to buy?

5) What was the seller's thought at the time you moved in....renting it to you pending closing the sale, or what?

6) To whom were you making loan payments if the loan never funded?

This whole deal sounds really spooky, and I think you are either leaving out a bunch of very important facts, or someone is indeed cheating you.

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Answered on 12/20/05, 5:28 pm


Re: I'm think I am a victim of fraud.

It is unclear from your posting if you are out of pocket any money. You say that it took you a couple of months to get your money back. Do you mean all of your money? If so, then one of the issues to be resolved is whether or not you have been damaged. If you have little or no damage caused to you, a lawsuit is likely not worth pursuing.

That is one issue. Another - and perhaps more significant - issue is whether or not there is something more sinister going on here. If the broker and/or lender are engaging in this conduct for some purpose that is illegal or unfair, then you may have a viable claim for unfair business practices. It would be necessary to review more facts relevant to your situation before making this assessment.

At any rate, if you have suffered damages, you should consider seeking out counsel from a qualified civil litigator. If/when you are ready to proceed, please feel free to call or email.

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Answered on 12/20/05, 9:32 pm

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