Can I sue a realtor who knowingly wrote false information in a sales contract?

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Can I sue a realtor who knowingly wrote false information in a sales contract?

I bought a home in 05/10. The realtor told me and wrote in the sales contract that the bank, who owned the property, had paid the property taxes through 06/11. So I paid a prorated rate back to the bank for the time I owned it until then. A couple weeks ago I received a property tax bill which was for the entire year. When the bank paid the tax in December, the realtor treated it as being paid forward for 01/11 to 06/11 when she knows the city treats them as being paid backward, which would have been for 07/10 through 12/10. She knows the city treats tax payments this way and still wrote the contract stating something different. Can I sue her for knowingly and willingly writing false information in a contract? Or the bank for the prorated rate I paid to them for something they had not even paid? This was my first home purchase and I did not have a lawyer look over the papers before I signed. Also, after asking around, I found that this is not the first time she has done this. I know she has been confronted about this before which is why I know she knows how the city treats the property taxes.

Asked on February 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Realtor: yes, you should be able to sue her to recover the damages (the amount you've had to pay, which you thought you shouldn't) if she was either negligent (unreasonably careless) in what she told  you or deliberate misrepresented to you (i.e. committed fraud). In the latter case, you may be able to recover some additional amounts (such as possibly attorney fees) as well as compensation for the taxes.

Bank: a bank can't keep money to which it's not entitled. If you paid the bank money as reimbursement when they were not owed the reimbursement, they should return it to you; if the bank does not, you could sue the bank for its return.


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