Is it fraud for non-disclosure if I purchased a home which is literally falling apart?

It is flooded and molded; the home inspecters didn’t inspect what wasn’t in front of their face. However, I recently found out from a neighbor that the homes had been built with bad plumbing pipes and were recalled quite a while back due to leaking that caused water damage to the homes. The money for the class action suit that took place has been exhausted for quite some time. The seller who sold me the house has had the home since it was built and left nothing into the disclosures. I have put thousands and thousands of dollars trying to just keep this house above water and I am so exhausted that I don’t feel like I could continue going on. I feel like I’m stuck. I don’t know where to go everything is falling apart. Is this a strong case I’ve tried talking to other lawyers and I can’t afford it anymore. However, this is the first time I brought up the pipes since I’ve learned about it them from the neighbor.

Asked on June 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud which is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known of the condition of the plumbing.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.
You can also sue the inspector for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
You would file one lawsuit naming the seller and inspector as defendants.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud which is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known of the condition of the plumbing.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.
You can also sue the inspector for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
You would file one lawsuit naming the seller and inspector as defendants.


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