What can you do if you were lied to about a real estate transaction?

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What can you do if you were lied to about a real estate transaction?

Our company purchased a mobile home park and was told that all the mobile homes
are owned by the people living in them except 1. After closing, upon trying to
obtain information about 1 trailer that was abandoned, it caused me to check all
of the titles of the mobile homes. It appears they are not titled to the people
living in them and most of them have personal property taxes due on them from
previous people living in the trailer. Would this be a fraudulent real estate
transaction or because we didn’t check this out before closing it’s just our own
problem? Thank you

Asked on July 25, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It would quite possibly be fraud, since there was a false affirmative representation made and the true state of affairs, while something you could look up, is something that would require you to specifically research the topic; there was nothing obvious about the physical units, etc. which would have put you on notice of a problem or inspired you to check title, and so it would have been reasonable for you rely on the representation made to you rather than conducting independent research. If you sue, it is possible that any given judge might feel otherwise--i.e. that it was incumbant on you to do your own "due diligence" and research title--so winning is not guaranteed. But based on what you write, you have at least a reasonable chance of prevailing if you were to sue for fraud; and if you did prevail, you could recover the costs or losses you could show have or are likely to flow out of the true state of ownership (and tax bills) on the homes.


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