Illegally sold property? HELP

13 Replies

So I contacted an owner of a house in my neighborhood. It is boarded up so I figured I'd call and see what she would want for the house. Within a few days there was a sign in the yard with an agents name and a brokerage. So obviously (or so I thought) it had been listed and I lost my chance. 

Interestingly enough, the owner called me a day later and said that she needs help. She said that the people who are selling her house are doing so illegally. She sent me all kinds of paperwork and even a reconveyance letter from 2004 showing the payoff of the house. Additionally, some paperwork she obtained from the city showing some fraudulent paperwork with her and her husband's signature from 2013. However, her husband died in 2008! 

I was very transparent and let her know that I have no clue what to do. When we called the agent who has the listing and inquired as to how she obtained the listing she was speechless and hung up on us. 

There is two reasons I would like to help. (1) The neighborhood has homes ranging from 360K-500K and she agreed to sell it to me for 120K (remember, it's a total gut job).  (2) It is obvious that someone is taking advantage of this widow and I feel convicted to assist in any way I can. 

That being said, I have no experience dealing with this type of fraud, or any for that matter. Any advice would be of great assistance. There is much more shady stuff being done by a particular broker here in SD on this house and I'm sure on others. 

Can anyone chime in on what they would do or have done is such cases?

In Florida, there is a Department of Business and Professional Regulation. They would handle such issues here. You need to find the state regulating board for real estate.

Or possibly the State Attorney General's office.

I was very transparent and let her know that I have no clue what to do.

I love this, I always do this too.  I mean it's the truth, but it also takes any expectations out of the situation!  Way to go!

This is fraud.  I would have her contact the fraud division of the local law enforcement office.  Also, maybe check with a title attorney to get his/her advice on what to do in this situation.  

I would also follow the advice listed above and contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to report the agent.   Reporting the agent could temporarily stall the sell of the home.  

@Isaac Guzman As bad as you want to help, I would steer clear completely and focus your energy and time on income producing activity that is not attached to any legal mess. Maybe advise the lady to get an attorney and simply follow up with her in 30 days...

Even if you have no idea what to do, the fact that you are willing to help her out (and maybe learn something yourself) would go a long way.

@Isaac Guzman  

Welcome to BP.

Be very careful. You can't go by one person's statement. If you really want this property, have a real estate attorney assist you. 

Hope it helps.

Well, with my personal attitude toward fraudsters....I'd get a purchase contract from the lady, and record it, or a notice thereof, in the local records. Also get an affidavit from her stating she and her did not transfer the deed and maybe some type of filing to that effect recorded also.  Get an attorney, I'd suspect a report to the Attorny General/District attorney would be in order too.   This could be a great opportunity, with little money out of pocket up front.  I'd  do this first without any further contact with the agents first.   They may or may not realize what's going on, but I'd do it without sending them any advance notice or warnings.  Some notary who notarized the deed transfer is going to have some issues too. 

Thanks everyone. I will be a bit busy for the next few hours at work but will read all this and continue to check on your advice. This is a great learning experience. 

@Isaac Guzman  

I would contact an attorney if you really want this property.  Personally I would run from this deal just because of the facts you have laid out.  It just seems like a lose lose.

Before I would waste another breath on this deal.  Get a real estate contract put together and have a sitdown with the seller, or least whom you believe is the seller.  Get a contract moving and get the freshly inked deal over to your title office professional.  Explain everything that has been detailed to you to the title office.  Allow them to start to work on the ownership issue for you.  I then would head on over the listing agent's office, face to face, and submit that receipted contract to her stating your plan of purchase.   Reading her response can be helpful and telling.  If she believes you and your story she will drop that listing like a bad habit.  If not, oh well, her time is hers to waste.  I would leave her office on good terms and her email address.  I would keep her advised of your progress at the title office and let her know if she has some good offers please keep them close as you "might" be looking to sell after all this is over.   Other helpful tips, keep that earnest money little to nothing if at all possible and make sure that contract has a nice long option period or inspection period and of course make sure you a title commitment clause.  

Hi @Isaac Guzman  

Out of curiosity, is the property on Hilltop? I ran into this listing and it seemed weird. 

@Breanne A.   Not on Hilltop but very close. K and 1st Street. It is most likely the same one. Definitely a strange situation. 

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