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Real Estate Attorney Sacramento


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									What To Do                                      Where To Send Your                                    Victim’s Guide to

If you believe you are the victim of real       Complaint
estate fraud, please contact the District
                                                Sacramento County District Attorney
Attorney’s Office. Prepare a written
                                                Real Estate Fraud Unit
explanation of what occurred.

                                                901 G Street
                                                Sacramento, CA 95814
Your explanation should include:
                                                (916) 874-9045


         Your name, address, and daytime        The complaint form is available online by accessing
         phone numbers.                         the DA website at In the “Quick
                                                Links” section, click “Fraud-Related Pages,” and
   2.    A brief overview of the events
                                                then “Real Estate Fraud” to find the “Suspected
                                                Fraud Report” link to the form.
         that took place. Start from the
         beginning. Be specific as to what
         was said and who said it.              Other Agencies That May
                                                Be Able To Assist You:
   3.    Copies (not originals) of all
                                                California Department of Real Estate (DRE)
         documents you signed or that were
                                                Sacramento Office

         given to you, including grant deeds,
                                                2201 Broadway
         quitclaim deeds, promissory notes,
                                                Sacramento, CA 95818-2500
         contracts, notes, agreements, and

         escrow documents.
                                                (916) 227-0864

   4.    Copies (not originals) of canceled     Adult Protective Services
         checks, or money orders (front and     4875 Broadway
         back) that you have in payment or      Sacramento, CA 95820
         were given to you as payment.          (916) 874-9377

                                                California Contractors State License Board
                                                Sacramento Intake & Mediation Center
                                                P.O. Box 269116
               FOR                              Sacramento, CA 95826-9116
               SALE                             (800) 321-CSLB (2752                                  SACRAMEnTO COUnTY DISTRICT
                                                                                                           ATTORnEY’S OFFICE
                                                Federal Bureau of Investigation
                                                4500 Orange Avenue                                       REAL ESTATE FRAUD UnIT
                                                Sacramento, CA 95841
                                                (916) 481-9110
Real Property Crimes                               The foreclosure specialist takes the money, does        Home Equity Thefts
                                                   not arrange a sale, and fails to make any payments
Scam artists operate profitably in the             on the mortgage. The end result is that loan            People who have built up equity in their
complex world of real estate sales and loans.      payments are not made and foreclosure continues         homes are ripe targets for a variety of
Criminals use false representations, fine print    without the victim being aware of any fraud.            confidence games. High-pressure home
and obscure procedures to steal the equity         Ultimately, the lender forecloses on the home; the      improvement contractors offer homeowners
in your home or to commit loan fraud. If           victim is evicted, and loses both their home and        unnecessary and overpriced home
you have been the victim of real estate fraud,     the $2,000 fee charged by the so-called specialist.     improvement on easy credit. Frequently,
the Sacramento County District Attorney’s                                                                  elderly and vulnerable adult homeowners are
Office wants to know. The District Attorney’s                                                              targeted for these schemes.
Office will investigate complaints of real         “Straw Buyer” Scams
estate fraud that involve a recorded real estate   Scam artists find ways to cash out equity of            Victims report being asked to sign blank
document. If there is sufficient evidence to       real property entrusted to them using creative          contracts they were not allowed to read
prove that a crime was committed, this office      financing. They may employ phony “straw buyers,”        before signing, or that they were not given
will prosecute. Here are a few of the more         crooked escrow agents, real estate appraisers or        copies of the contracts. Only later does the
prevalent types of crime being perpetrated in      notary publics. The scam artist asks the straw buyer    victim realize that the contract contains
Sacramento County.                                 to sign loan papers using his or her good credit.       terms completely different than promised.
                                                   The scam artist pockets the loan proceeds and fails
Foreclosure Bailout                                to make the loan payments. The straw buyer may          Too often it turns out the home
                                                                                                           improvement contract has “eaten up” all of
                                                   have committed both state and federal crimes. His
Scams                                              or her credit is ruined and they are obligated to pay   the equity in the home. The homeowner
Victims of this form of real estate fraud are      the loan amount.                                        learns they have signed high interest
generally homeowners who have lost their                                                                   mortgages with enormous loan fees and
                                                                                                           the homeowner may be faced with loan
income or have negative equity (owe more           Forgery of Deeds                                        payments they cannot afford. Criminals may
money on their mortgage than the home is
worth, also known as being “upside-down”).         Thieves may assume the identity of a property’s         commit outright forgery with the actual loan
These homeowners are usually desperate             true owner, or claim to represent the true owner, in    documents to
and must either sell their home at a large         order to fraudulently obtain title to the property.     secure the loan
loss or let the lender foreclose, severely         They typically target properties with a large amount    and/or gain

damaging their credit. At this point so-called     of equity, which often have elderly owners. By          control of the
“foreclosure specialists” will offer victims       forging names on grant and trust deeds, they            loan proceeds.
the opportunity to arrange for a sale of their
homes. In this form of fraud, the homeowner
                                                   borrow against the property or sell the property,
                                                   stealing the equity. Criminals may also alter deeds                           SALE
usually will be told that for a fee of about       before they are recorded, changing ownership
$2,000 the homeowner can deed their home           interests or amounts borrowed.
to the foreclosure specialist and then rent it

Your best protection is to NEVER submit to pressure and ALWAYS obtain financial or legal advice before you commit to a contract or
loan. Contact a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor before signing any documents. Never pay cash, no matter what the other party
wants. Always insist on documentation of contracts and promises.

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