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Ask Colleen Grady Your Own Question
Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience:  Attorney and Counselor at Law
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My question is in regard to real estate. Here is my situation---My

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My question is in regard to real estate. Here is my situation---My father has a rental home. Last year, I had a friend (a veteran) who was homeless in FL and needed assistance. We picked him up and worked it out for him to stay in my father's rental property in SC. It took a couple of months for him and my dad to get everything worked out with HUD to get the house approved. When all inspections and such were passed, we had the rental agreement to sign. My father was in Brazil at the time. With all good intentions, I signed the rental agreement for my father (he was in agreement to this, but I do NOT have a power of attorney), and my friend signed. There was a part that needed to be initialed by my friend later, and I initialed it for him (he knew about all this). We needed the rental agreement to finish paperwork with HUD, and I was trying to help move things more quickly for my father and my friend, as my father wanted me to do. My father never received a security deposit, and there have been some months where my friend never paid his rent portion (HUD paid a percentage, and my friend was supposed to pay the rest). My father overlooked all this, because he and I wanted to give my friend time and a chance to get on his feet. Much has happened since then, but to try and shorten this question...HUD has decided to step out of all this (because they learned that my friend was not paying his portion, and because my father did not fix some things in the home that my friend wanted done). The house did not pass the HUD inspection. My father now wants to sell the house and sent an note to alert my friend...he didn't want to send a legal eviction notice yet because he wants to remain patient and kind in all this. In the meantime, my friend is very upset with me and my father because we have not been able to continue to support him financially and such. He is disgruntled and seeking revenge. He wants to bring it to court that I forged this rental agreement, and is hoping I serve jail time and a fine. I really want to keep this friendly and above board, and wonder what recourse I have? I see that I made a huge mistake in signing for my father. I had absolutely no intention of trying to mislead or commit any kind of fraud. What kind of penalty am I looking at here, and how can I best resolve this quickly? Is the rental agreement valid if no one if paying the rent? The term on the original rental agreement was through June 30, 2016. There has been no payment since HUD was no longer involved.
Thank you for any advice you can give.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 9 months ago.
Hello. I will help you with your questions. I have been an attorney for 26 years. Can you tell me if you signed your father's name? If so, did your father know you signed his name?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 9 months ago.
Hello. I wanted to know if you signed your father's name because, if you did, there is a possibility you could be charged with forgery. However, if you father told you this was ok then the district attorney could not prove you had the "intent to defraud" your father. They cold not get a conviction against you then. This is the law that would have to be proved:470. (a) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing thathe or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of anotherperson or of a fictitious person to any of the items listed insubdivision (d) is guilty of forgery. (b) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, counterfeits orforges the seal or handwriting of another is guilty of forgery. (c) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, alters,corrupts, or falsifies any record of any will, codicil, conveyance,or other instrument, the record of which is by law evidence, or anyrecord of any judgment of a court or the return of any officer to anyprocess of any court, is guilty of forgery. (d) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, falsely makes,alters, forges, or counterfeits, utters, publishes, passes orattempts or offers to pass, as true and genuine, any of the followingitems, knowing the same to be false, altered, forged, orcounterfeited, is guilty of forgery: any check, bond, bank bill, ornote, cashier's check, traveler's check, money order, post note,draft, any controller's warrant for the payment of money at thetreasury, county order or warrant, or request for the payment ofmoney, receipt for money or goods, bill of exchange, promissory note,order, or any assignment of any bond, writing obligatory, or othercontract for money or other property, contract, due bill for paymentof money or property, receipt for money or property,Also, if your friend knew you signed your father's name , then he could also be charged with forgery. So, if he wants to be ungrateful to you, then you can tell him that he faces charges as well. He would be considered part of the fraud. Here is the law:475. (a) Every person who possesses or receives, with the intent topass or facilitate the passage or utterance of any forged, altered,or counterfeit items, or completed items contained in subdivision (d)of Section 470 with intent to defraud, knowing the same to beforged, altered, or counterfeit, is guilty of forgery. Here is the possible maximum penalty for forgery:473. (a) Forgery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail fornot more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision(h) of Section 1170.It may be time to go for the eviction proceedings against him. He may never return your generosity. Your dad has to be able to do with his property what is best for him.Please let me know if you have more questions. I will be happy to help more. If you are satisfied with my help, please rate my service.