For many, home ownership has become a goal and a part of their American Dream. With this achievement comes a sense of pride and financial security. Unfortunately, some dishonest people take advantage of innocent homeowners and/or potential homeowners by turning these dreams into nightmares.
How is this possible? The answer is real estate fraud. There are several different kinds of criminal schemes that can be considered real estate fraud. These scams can occur when buying, selling or refinancing a home. Alarmingly, these transactions sometimes occur without your knowledge.
In Pursuit of Justice, we at the District Attorney's Office strive to protect our community. We do this by performing vital investigations and pursuing the prosecution of these criminals. We are dedicated to educating our valued citizens about real estate fraud.
Things to Watch Out For
- Documentation includes deletions, correction fluid, or other alteration.
- Power of Attorney is used.
- Purchase price is substantially higher or lower than predominant market value.
- Buyer has pre-existing financial interest in the property.
- Borrower or seller name is different than on sales contract and title.
- Payouts to unknown parties or parties not providing real estate related services.
- Short sale offer is from a related party.
- Excessive sales commissions, fees and/or points.
- Buyer is reluctant to bring good funds to closing.
- Lender or broker request changes, not in writing, which are contrary to written closing instructions.
How to file a Real Estate Fraud Complaint
Victims may file a complaint by completing “The Real Estate Fraud Complaint” Form. You may obtain the form from the District Attorney's Office or by clicking here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on the link below.