How Common Are Escrow Disputes In Real Estate Transactions?
An escrow dispute is where a person has put down a partial payment or a down payment to purchase a piece of property and those funds are not to be released to the seller until there is a closing. Somewhere along the line, prior to the closing or at the closing, one party or the other decides not to close. Deposits can be very small or large; that’s typically up to the buyer and seller to negotiate. When a contract is cancelled by one party, the question becomes who gets the deposit money. A lot of that can be handled pre-emptively, as long as you have counsel looking at it and making sure that the terms are clear.
How Common Is Real Estate Fraud In Florida? What Are The Common Issues That You See?
In the age of electronic transfers, all fraud has been funneled it into identity theft. We have scenarios where people will forge deeds and record deeds. Law enforcement may get involved or may not. There are scenarios where people will try to get escrow holders to do provisional credit. You have an escrow account and a party sends you money before the check actually clears because it will never clear.
Some people are very trusting and quite naïve. They will write a check out of the escrow account for that amount of money and escrow is going to be in the red for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Occasionally, you will get fraudulent liens that are put against the property. There is forgery of legal documents and people trying to scam escrow account holders.
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