Deed Fraud ?
My girlfriend's 92 yr. old mother (M), sister (J), other sister (P) and P's boyfriend (PB) went in on a property at the Jersey shore. There is no formal 'agreement' for the property.
M and PB are on the deed and mortgage. About two years ago, P shows up with a new deed with all four of their names on the deed, M, J, P & PB. M did not sign anything which would have conveyed part of the property to J and P.
P and PB have since married, if that means anything
How was changing the names on the original deed possible? If signatures were forged, does this constite fraud? What are the NJ statutes of limitation? How would I go about helping to revert the deed back to the original signators?
Thanks in advance.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Deed Fraud ?
If Mom insists she didn't sign the Deed (and a handwriting expert can help here) and her signature was forged it is indeed fraud and Mom can file a lawsuit to have the Deed "rescinded" meaning as if it never existed. She may also be able to obtain money in the form of an award of punitive damages which, as the word suggests, are intended to punish the wrongdoer for the fraud by giving the money to the person who was the victim.
Be prepared for the other side to try to prove that although Mom was OK when she signed the Deed, she is now either mentally incompetent or just forgot that she made a "gift" by signing the Deed. She may be as sharp as a tack and if so that strategy shouldn't be successful but many of us do lose some degree of our mental faculties as we grow older making it easier for other people to claim that such a person is legally incapable of doing certain things (such as denying she signed the Deed) or just calling our memories into question.