California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Real Estate Agents Warned to Keep Their Noses Clean

At a legal forum held for real estate agents by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors / Los Altos/Mountain View District, real estate attorneys cautioned agents and discussed issues ranging from ethics, disclosure and liquidated damages.

Attorney Stan Smith noted that the number of litigation cases is rising and that agents need to adhere to best practices. “When markets are good, we’re busy. When markets are bad, we’re really busy,” he said.

I have quoted directly from the Article in the Los Altos Crier for the benefit both of real estate professionals and consumers:

• Attribute and disclaim. Attribute where you get your information. If you didn’t verify the information, say so and cite the source of your information.

• Document, document, document. Once in litigation, people make up stories, so make sure you document everything, even telephone conversations. E-mail works best for this and is easy to confirm.

• Disclose, disclose, disclose. There is no harm in over-disclosing.

• Intentional failure to disclose is fraud.

• Keep files as long as possible.

• Be careful and knowledgeable about REO (real-estate-owned) properties. An REO is a property that goes back to the mortgage company after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction.

© Copyright 2007-2018 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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