Do I have a case if the seller said he made a

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Do I have a case if the seller said he made a

I purchased a home about 6 months ago. The property disclosure stated that

foundation work had been completed. I noticed some settling issues so I asked the

seller to get me the information for the warranty on the foundation work that he had done. When my agent contacted his agent about it, we were told that he made a mistake and that no work had been done. I recently had a foundation repair company quote me 30k not including any flooring or interior repair work to fix the issue. They also noted in their report that the previous owners seemed to apply cosmetic fixes to hide structural defects. As you might imagine, I’m quite concerned about this. Do you think that their is a case for me to sue the previous owners given their

Asked on December 19, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  There isn't any "mistake" when one initially says that foundation work was completed and later says it was never done and when "cosmetic fixes were done to hide structural defects".
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation 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 purchased the house had you known the true facts about the foundation.
Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact by the seller where the buyer could not have reasonably discovered the true facts prior to purchase.
 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 that a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property 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 the actual value of the property acquired.


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