What To Do Where To Send Your Victim’s Guide to Real 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. Estate 901 G Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Your explanation should include: (916) 874-9045 1. Fraud Your name, address, and daytime The complaint form is available online by accessing phone numbers. the DA website at www.sacda.org. 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 FOR given to you, including grant deeds, 2201 Broadway quitclaim deeds, promissory notes, Sacramento, CA 95818-2500 contracts, notes, agreements, and http://www.dre.ca.gov/ SALE 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 http://www.cslb.ca.gov 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 FOR 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 back. 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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