How would you feel if one day someone knocked on your door and told you that you were living in their home with nothing other than their word? This is the sad reality around real estate fraud in the modern day and age. Real estate fraud is one of those things which is prevalent in and around a huge metropolitan area like Los Angeles and it's one of those things that are difficult to fight and even more difficult to defend. With all of the fraud going on and judges making what would seem like bizarre decisions just because someone is aptly represented by a good attorney, it's wise to have as good an attorney who has successfully litigated the real estate fraud market in your corner.
What Is Real Estate Fraud: In California "real estate fraud" is defined as any type of criminal conduct involving real estate. It's a pretty broad brush and California is a pretty big state. But the most common types of real estate fraud include things like antitrust fraud, mortgage fraud, elder financial fraud, foreclosure rescue schemes, rental skimming, and certain kinds of property flipping. Here are some explanations of these different types of fraud and what they mean to you.
Antitrust: Antitrust real estate fraud is basically collusion. If more than one person is acting to prevent fair competition in the real estate industry that you are guilty of antitrust fraud. This is a pretty common charge leveled against real estate agents and offices in California and across the nation. Antitrust allegations are considered a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act which works to prevent unfair competition in the Untied States.
Mortgage Fraud: When you're living in Los Angeles you are used to people trying to scam someone of something. Mortgage fraud is that type of behavior just in the real estate industry. Mortgage fraud is classified into two distinct categories: fraud for profit and fraud for housing. Mortgage fraud for profit includes things like equity skimming, mortgage related identity theft, and even some types of property flipping which we will talk about in a little bit.
Equity skimming has to do with bankruptcy threats or threats of foreclosure by companies that do not exist. The aim is to mislead homeowner and investors and take their money.
Mortgage related identity theft is pretty self-explanatory but is a huge and growing crime in the world of big money and big properties.
The other type of mortgage fraud, fraud for housing, is also known as loan fraud. This is when you have borrowers who misstate their income in an effort to qualify for a mortgage and a home that they otherwise could not afford.
Elder Financial Fraud: Elder financial fraud is any type of fraud by someone who is trying to confuse an elderly individual out of his or her home. This type of crime is taken pretty seriously just because the elderly are so vulnerable to being taken advantage of.
Foreclosure Rescue Scams: Another pretty common type of scam involves those who are facing foreclosure and an independent third party who comes to their rescue. This person may make claims to them that their home will be saved and the foreclosure agents will get off their backs if they simply sign over a portion of the property to the third party. More often than not the agent misrepresenting him or herself will simply take a "fee" and then do nothing to help the person who is being foreclosed upon.
Rental Skimming: Another pretty popular type of real estate fraud involves someone taking rents for a property of someone else and never paying the rents owed. The renting tenant may think that everything is fine but they haven't paid any rents due. They will soon be evicted and the individual who took their money will walk away unscathed.
Property Flipping: Property flipping fraud involves people buying distressed properties and then resisting them with greatly inflated values through a series of fake appraisals. This may even be taken into the antitrust realm if a property appraiser and the buyer/seller are working in tandem.
Real estate fraud is a pretty serious claim to make against someone. If you have had these charges leveled at you and you are seeking some type of representation in the Los Angeles area, the Law Offices of Jeff Voll have both the resources and the experience to make sure that you win your case. Experienced attorney Jeff Voll will guide you in every facet of the case; from gathering the facts to mounting a defense to supreme knowledge of the intricacies of the law, we have got your back. As experienced litigators we also have a keen eye on the other sides case and we know how to expose and exploit any weaknesses they may have. Call today at 323-467-6400 to get these accusations off of your record and get on with your life!