The goal of a real estate broker is to assist the client in real estate transition and activities. It is the job of the broker to communicate with clients, lawyers, private agencies and real estate agents. He or she is responsible to ensure that the transactions complete appropriately.
Although, there is a certain code of ethics that bound these brokers to stick to the standard of conduct, however, at times they get involved in fraudulent activities, intentionally or unintentionally. These criminal activities may lead to the loss of job and other penalties as set by the state laws.
Broker Fraud- Misrepresentation While Making a Deal:
A real estate broker fraud occurs when the broker misrepresents the key elements of the sale. The entire firm may also engage in fraudulent activities as a single broker. A broker may prove incorrect details about themselves, for instance, work history, credentials or background. The company may commit fraud, without knowing it to be a crime, unless someone explains them the matter.
Few Examples of Broker Fraud:
Scams are an important part of broker fraud. The broker can be engaged in illegal activities through scams and may continue to charge a person for different issues. The broker may give foreclosure listing or may not follow the prerequisites of full disclosure. The person can misrepresent a property by giving wrong information about age, background, defects or even dimensions. The broker can also use a false license or can provide fake credentials to advance the scam or activity.
In a few cases, the broker may become negligent and delegate his or her work to someone without obtaining the consent of the buyer. Along with the duty of care to the client, full disclosure is necessary. It is the duty of the broker to give full information, stay honest, and provide data to the buyer and seller. The clients put their trust in a broker to carry out the real estate deal. When the broker deviates and breaches the duty, he or she may face legal charges on committing an illegal activity. In a few cases, this may also lead to jail time and ultimately having a negative impact on the career.
Damages to the Victim and Its Consequences:
The main goal of broker fraud is to damage the client. If the client suffers harm that broker started, the client can hire a real estate lawyer to litigate against the perpetrator. The severe the crime, the more compensation the client will seek. In case the property has multiple loans, or there is an additional fee attached to it, the client will have to either reverse the process or ask the broker to return the money via court order.
There are other consequences that may lead to certain types of compensation such as punitive damages, in case the judge decides to give the broker added penalties. The broker may have to pay monetary fines for the criminal activity carried out. The criminal charges depend on the activities that the broker was engaged in.
How to Find the Right Broker?
One of the most important factor while finding a broker is to look for the correct credentials. When a person works as a broker, there should be a background that can easily be traced. The potential broker should have a professional license, working partners or co-workers that can be used to verify the broker’s identity. The client should meet the broker in person and should be alert when anyone looks shady, or attempt to steal money through false details.
Contacting a Lawyer:
Being a victim of a real estate broker fraud, the person can hire an attorney and collect the evidence. The victim can pursue a legal civil case against the criminal. The lawyer helps the victim in seeking compensation for the damages.