Sue seller in another state

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Sue seller in another state

We bought a house which was supposed to be a happy occasion turned into a nightmare. Since day one problems after problems. We had an inspection and an appraisal was done but no one had any idea the damage the sellers hid, painted over, patched, concealed, temporarily fixed. Our closing attorney says we have enough to sue them however that is something is not included in his duty as closing attorney. There are 5 sellers 2 or 3 still live local I believe but the couple moved. What are our options and how do we sue the seller if they moved to another state? The seller did not disclose and did the $500 closing credit instead a procedure that should be banned.

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New York


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are the plaintiff.  The party you are suing is the defendant.
A lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides or in the state where the defendant resides or in the state where the incident that is the subject of the lawsuit occurred.
For convenience purposes, it is advisable to file the lawsuit in your state.
You can sue the sellers for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or non-disclosure 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 hidden defects.
Damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for fraud against the sellers 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 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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