What constitutes mortgage fraud?

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What constitutes mortgage fraud?

In late 2009, we entered a short-sale contract. Two lenders were involved. After a 10-month wait, we received the lender approvals. Seller asked us, through intermediaries, for a large cash payment off the HUD statement. We refused, but secured all our financing and cleared all contingencies. Seller simply refused to schedule a closing and sign over the title. As soon as we asked for our earnest money back, they re-listed the property, presumably to sell it to a party who would be willing to pay them off. Does their request for cash payment constitute mortgage fraud? Do we have any recourse?

Asked on November 24, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a valid contract for the sale of the house then why did you ask for the money back and walk away from it?  Do you have an attorney?  You can force the sale of the house and the seller's are not only doing something illegal they are in breach of the contract.  What they will be charged with remains to be seen.  But you most definitely have recourse here.  You can demand "specific performance" of the contract.  Real estate is considered unique and therefore you can force the sale to you because it can not be replaced with the "same" property. OR get your money back. Seek legal help.  Good luck. 


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