Real Estate Litigation
Real Estate is a hotbed for different types of litigation. Real Estate is often viewed as a most valuable asset of a person or company. As such, real estate involves high financial stakes to all parties. And so our New York City real estate lawyers often find themselves in serious and extremely adversarial litigation over residential and commercial properties.
Real Estate litigation spills over into many other aspects of litigation. Construction related lawsuits are the most prominent, and our Firm also handles those cases. See the Practice Area on this site for Construction Law. But Real Estate cases can also involve Fraud and Partnership dispute cases. Since real estate investment often involves substantial outlay of money, it is an area where people have great incentive to cheat a partner or other party out of their money. This can involve stolen equity, fraudulent deed transfers, illicit collection of rent, or even conduct which denies another party the income from real estate. To certain unscrupulous investors and parties, a person’s money is fair game to stealthily overreach. Other such real estate litigation can involve Friends and Family Fraud, as also noted in this site, where those closely tied to each other by trust in family or friendship get taken advantage of in a jointly owned property.
Another major example of a far-reaching real estate scam is one where underneath the veneer of a legitimate investment vehicle lies a “Ponzi Scheme.” This is where an investor commits his/her funds to a “manager” or agent of a company who promises a certain high rate of return secured by investments in real estate. While the company may start by paying the promised rate of return, over time the company defaults on that obligation, said payment eventually falls away, and the investor hears nothing on where the principal investment went. The disappearance of that principal and the underlying agreement then becomes the issue in the lawsuit.
Moreover, both developers and professional purchasers of Real Estate can engage against in conduct against certain consumer sellers of their homes that effectively steal away years of equity that the consumer has steadily built up. Real Estate scammers come in the form of brokers, sellers, or buyers of property, or even "foreclosure rescue" outfits. Over many years, these schemes have become more and more actionable as the legislature particularly in New York has recognized the deception of these people and companies. Over time, various statutory provisions have sprung up to purportedly protect the consumer from real estate scammers.
In a case of this nature, the catalyst for this type of fraud is an inflated appraisal; one that gives the lender the basis to over-mortgage the property, setting the buyer up for imminent foreclosure or just plain financial ruin. Oftentimes these "middlemen" occupy positions of trust with the buyer, who has no reason to think they are getting scammed until it is too late.
Buyers and sellers of real estate simply must be their own lawyer. While it is advisable to have a real estate lawyer in New York City review and discuss a real estate contract or other agreement, if such is not practicable or financially feasible, the person should scrutinize the important document(s) until they understand what they are getting into. Benjamin Hart, P.C. have given hours of free advice as to whether a consumer should enter into an offered contract, amend the contract with more favorable terms, or throw the deal away entirely. Heavy scrutiny of the initial documents to any transaction is essential to guaranteeing years of prosperity, and to minimizing the risk of an equal amount of financial misery.
Please contact us online or call us today at (212) 835-1532 for a free initial phone consultation.