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Karenlopez, Home Buyer in Plano, TX

I have to sue the previous owners for numerous lies on TDS - Has anyone sued and won? mold, leaky pool,

Asked by Karenlopez, Plano, TX Sat Dec 8, 2007

Bought the house in April of 2006 - Sellers bought it as a foreclosure 2 years prior intending to FLIP. I did not know this. They represented that they invested $100,000 in upgrades which they did not. Seller admitted that $70,000 of the $100,000 was for her salary for the year it took to fix the house! Mold is in the duct work as well as under the kitchen sink and shower, a very leaky pool, numerous electrical shorts & abandoned sewage pipes right in the hallway that they had covered up with a piece of furniture! In addition, they stated on disclosure that they had replaced the water heater in 2004 - They did with a USED 1996 unit that already needs replacing and the heaters had flames rolling out which they knew about because a technician told me that he had told them of that in 2004 but they stated on the disclosure that the heaters were working fine. She wallpapered over a crack in the wondow frame - So BAD!! I'm in a lawsuit but getting discouraged as they lie. Will I win?

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15
Hi Karen,

I think that your question is probably beyond the scope of the Reatlors on Trulia. I am so sorry to hear that you have found yourself in this situation. These are quite complicated issues, and you are post closing, so what you really need is a thorough reveiw of your options from legal cousel.

Did you have a Realtor represent you in the purchase? You are currently in a lawsuit? What feedback has your attorney provided?

Again, I am so discouraged to hear of this type of report. It represents a minor percentage of all transactions, but things like this do happen. I hope that you are able to find a suitable resolution to this situation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
They sound really dubious and deceptive. I am not an attorny but I think with a good one you could win. How did you find out all the truth now? They admitted it? Please get in touch with me Monday and I can consult some of the title attorneys I use all the time and get a referral.

Did the agent representing them know the truth or were they also lied too?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
we bought a house, the prevoius owner said it had never flooded, it has and now we are currently in a flood sitiation
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 22, 2012
Where is your realtor? Did you have the house inspected whether you are an investor, or home buyer it is always best to use an inspector cost is approx. $275 I would believe all this would have been discovered during the inspection period. GOOD LUCK
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
I purchased a home in Fort Worth, the seller did not disclose foundation problems with the house, although the inspection report sited foundation problems with the home, I sued (attorney took the case pro-bono) found out the realty company had a show report which indidated they were aware of the foundation problem as well. We setteled during mediation, and I got just enough money to fix the foundation. I would start by contacting the seller and sellers realty company and see if they are willing to fix, if they do not then contact your attorney to send a demand letter. You have two years to file from the date the property closed. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
I have a question...did you have the house inspected before you purchased it? If the inspecter did not report the problems you have found wouldn't they hold some liability. This is a terrible thing that has happened to you. We are selling our home and relocating. One item that I am very concerned about is the condition of the home we will be buying. I have looked at several homes in the area we want to move to and it is amazing how sellers attempt to hide or conceal problems with paint and other ways to hide problems. But I expect my inspector to do a good job and I will hold him responsible for items that he should have found in the event we run into any problems. But, if you buy a house and do not have an inspection then I feel you may have problems recouping any losses. I wish you all the best. I am sorry your going through this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Hi Karyn,

I am sorry to hear that it seems you were caught in a web of deception. The reason there are laws to regulate disclosures, and real estate licensing is to protect the public. It is unfortunate to hear that you case may have involved unscrupulous brokers. If a broker/agent knowingly participated in withholding material facts or, worse, covering them, these individuals should be held fully accountable.

The very vast majority of Realtors strongly support and uphold the laws that protect the public, which include, but are not limited to disclsoure and fair housing laws. I am a loud an vocal critic that the education and performance requirements to obtain or maintain a license should be raised. I find much frustration w/ agents who know less than they should. I find VERY few agents who disregard laws. By far, most agents are honest and have good integrity. I am sorry to hear that you were caught up with a group that represented the minority. That doesn't help you, personally. I know that being called for a deposition is time consuming on your part. I do extend a thank you to you for your time, because it is important to get brokers off the street if they are participating in illegal or deceptive practices.

Most of us spend a lot of time educating our sellers about the importance of disclosure. I have had sellers think it was OK to withhold info, and ask me why they had to report "x,y, or z".. That makes me wonder what info might not have been disclosed if a Realtor was not there to educate the seller. That is why I asked the orignial poster if there were Realtors involved. It usually wasn't because the seller was trying to decieve, the seller simply considered something a non-issue......but, the buyer might....and it needed to be disclosed.

When it is a transaction with a real estate licensee, and particularly a Realtor, there should be an added assurance to a buyer that this seller has been coached and informed by the agent on the importance of full disclsoure. No guarantee....but some added assurance. In the case for Karyn, this certainly was not the case.....and I am so sorry to hear that. Karyn, on behalf of other Realtors and home buyers, thank your for your role in protecting future buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
In my case (civil) there are many other victims apparently, as the state office of financial regulations is investigating the brokers and I am one of many called for deposition. I believe it is called "Racketeering & Collusion". Anyone going through this should take it to all the local and national levels as it is a national issue and disease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Just a thought-
You are possibly seeking damages in a civil suit. Have you considered calling authorities to see if there is grounds for a criminal suit as well? The deception here could cross over into loan fraud. I would start with your state's Attorney General's office. You may not be the only victim. Some of the professional "flippers" defrauded many innocent home buyers. Good luck and hang in there.
Web Reference: http://BestSellerSTL.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
you will pay the lawyer thousands and probably lose
you have the burden of proof
and there can be a lot of doubt
maybe the mold grew last year
see what i mean

anyways

flipping is risky right now

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
I read this entire thread today, since it was revived. I wonder if KarenLopez will get an email alert and perhaps return to the thread.

As I read this, I wondered if there were Realtors invovled in the transaction and if the buyer, KarenLopez, had an inspection done of the property.

While it is possible for a seller to hide a defect from their own Realtor, there are usually more details available to the buyer when Realtors are involved. An inspector can miss things, but KarenLopez mentioned something that furnitrue was hiding. Was there a walk through after furniture was removed and before closing?

If KarenLopez does return, can you let us know what has happened since Dec? Hoping to hear that the sellers settled.

Josh......I hear too many stories like yours. I try very hard to have faith in our justice system.....but, too many stories like yours chips away at it.

Deborah
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
Hello Karen, This is almost spooky. My name too is Karyn and you just described my entire situation almost exactly though here in South West Florida. And I bought my house of mold and lies one year earlier in April 05. I am still in the litigation phase and we haven't even gone to court yet. It is costing me a bundle and I have 2 lawyers on the case. I am suing both the sellers and the mortgage brokers E & O. I have also turned my case over to the feds who are investigating and filing against the brokers for predatory lending practices, an inflated appraisal and more. It is a long and emotionally draining experience for certain. On top of all this I am allergic to the mold living in my home and cannot afford to move out so I am sick quite often. Getting discouraged seems like the only emotion I know any longer. My lawyers are hopeful. I go back and fourth. Good news is that the sellers lawyer had eluded to fact that sellers do not want to go to court and if proven wish to settle, they have no money to pay me back but I will settle with them spilling the beans on the brokers faults and deceptions as I know they were in collusion on the deceptions. You keep your head up Karen and I will mine. Would love to know what your outcome turns out to be. Best of luck & prayers. Namaste, Karyn
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Ouch... this story almost made me loose my lunch! I will still never know why some people can be so devious and deceitful just to make a buck.

Unfortunately, like Bruce already stated...... winning in court or out of court is just the tip of the iceberg... it's actually collecting that is the main issue.

My family had to sue one of our main partners in a software company we had formed as we had found out he was selling off our software and all of it's secrets to another company and hoarding all the profits for ourselves. Since the other company now held all the "meat & potatoes" of our software's success, they completely wiped us out and then continued to keep our partner on retainer for a couple more years.
Needless to say, we had a lock down case against our partner and the other company for all types of violations.... it took us 2 years and over $50k out of our own pockets to win..... and recieve NADA!!! He just filed BK and the company has sent appeal after appeal...

Not to make you completely depressed, but this is why you need to really find a GREAT attorney you can absolutely trust and rely on. We did not have such a great one as we found out we could have gone through other means and perhaps atleast collected something w/out the pricey attorney fees!

Please keep us informed of what comes about.
Web Reference: http://www.exposedhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
Karen, I'm sorry for the problems you have experienced. This is indeed unfortunate. The best thing I think any of us could do is refer you to a board certified real estate attorney. You should do your best to gather the documentation you have and present each fact with the supporting evidence to your attorney and see what they say. One thing to remember is winning is one battle, collecting damages is another. Did you have a professional inspection when you bought the home? Did you use a realtor or attorney to write the contract for you. If so you may want to ask these people for assistance for a referral to an attorney as well. Good luck with your claims.....
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
I am so sorry to hear about the problems you are encountering. I agree with Deborah that your resort and answer will come from legal counsel. It is indeed in the small percentage that these situations occurr.

Your attorney may have told you that you would have to prove that these problems existed prior to you purchasing the house AND that the prior owners knew about it and didn't disclose it.

However, it peaks my curiosity to ask you... did you have the house inspected before purchasing it?

I had a client about 10 years ago that purchased a house in Irving (i represented them). The sellers had put in the disclosure that they were not aware of any problems with the foundation and never received any report from a professional that it needed work. They were ok with that, we knew that it woudl need to be addressed down the road. However, 4 months after they moved in they called foundation repair companies from the yellow pages and it turned out that one them (small world) had already come to this house a year prior and told the owners that it needed work and he even gave them a quote. My buyers were very upset obviously, seeked legal counsel and settled out of court. My clients were not greedy, they simply wanted them to pay for the work since they lied.

Good luck to you.
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
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