Marin County Real Estate
and Business Law Attorney




The Trend. There is a clear upward trend in financial fraud within real estate transactions, real estate partnerships, and in various fiduciary environments. More buyers are using attorneys to navigate short sales and foreclosure strategies as the supply decreases.

The Reality. There are two realities that should guide the client: first, that the real estate agent is rarely qualified or willing to perform the necessary due diligence in transactions that involve either strategic negotiations, or easement and entitlement issues. This fact, together with the fact that the law in California prohibits agents from advising their own clients of the legal effect of their own form contracts-contributes to errors at the closing. Another reality is that after a complex workout or real estate transaction closes, the broker is often nowhere to be found, and unqualified, unable and unmotivated to revisit the deal. This is especially true in complex multi-party and multi-unit transactions. For example, foreclosure pools (partnerships that focus on a specific foreclosure profile) are typically very savvy investors, and rarely use agents. For these reasons, residential homebuyers and commercial investors are increasingly using counsel instead of agents. Sophisticated clients get their counsel involved on the front-end, so that the deal cycle is more predictable and controlled.

Experience. We have long and deep experience in the real estate mortgage finance, judicial foreclosure, mortgage banking, and real estate partnership environments in which many of the factors are present for an increased risk of fraud. Our advice arrives as a due diligence plan, and our approach to due diligence is a positive one—often helping the deal to close. In many cases, clients are alerted to serious unknown or undisclosed environmental or financial risks. This advance knowledge can re-price the deal, and invariably provides confidence and protection to the client, broker and fiduciary.

Areas of Focus

  • Real Estate Disclosure Fraud
  • Foreclosure injunctions
  • Escrow Fraud
  • Secreting assets or profits by insiders, trustees and administrators
  • Misappropriation of client funds by Real Estate Professionals
  • Fraudulent Transfer of Assets to Avoid Judgment
  • Failure to maintain trust accounting by Real Estate professionals; Self-dealing
  • Claims against escrow or title agent