If the buyer signs a contract knowing they don’t qualify, is that fraudulent misrepresentation

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If the buyer signs a contract knowing they don’t qualify, is that fraudulent misrepresentation

I am selling my home and also entered into a contract to buy a new home. Less than a week after contracts are signed

and checks exchanged, my ‘buyer’ mysteriously loses her job but has managed to go on several interviews. prior to signing she provided statement that she qualified based on current income. I am out more money than she. Can I sue for fraudulent misrepresentation if I can prove she was let go from her job before signing? I have lost more money, not to mention the house that I was going to buy.

Asked on September 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, as a general matter, you can potentially sue for your provable losses based on fraud, but as you note, you must be able to prove that she was out of her job when she provided the income-related statement. If she was still employeed, even if on probation, on an improvement plan at work, having disagreements or conflicts with her boss, etc. she did not commit fraud since she told the truth (at that moment, her income was good).
Fraud can be difficult to prove. Is she has backed out of the sale, cannot go through with it, etc. you may be best off simply keeping her earnest money or deposit.


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