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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54724
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My girlfriends husband died in May 2013 after battling cancer

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My girlfriend's husband died in May 2013 after battling cancer for more than 22 years. She is now going through the financial phase of the "after death". She has received a statement from a bank showing she owes $86,000. She is in shock! Apparently, her husband and his lawyer, who forged her name to a 100K line of credit with her home as the collateral. She knew nothing of this loan and is now faced with debt which will be a hardship for her to repay. Does she have any recourse since this is definitely fraud by the lawyer? Oh, the lawyer did not have any power of attorney with her husband.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. They are not going to be able to force this loan against your girlfriend based upon a fraudulent signature. Since she never actually signed the document, it is not enforceable against her. Furthermore, the lien on her house would not be valid if she never signed the documents. She should contest this on two fronts: i) Tell the bank what happened and let them know she will be contesting this loan/lien as fraudulent based on the forgery. She should get a handwriting analyst to confirm. Also, for there to be any lien on her home, her signature would have needed to have been witnessed and notarized. So those witnesses and notary are going to be subject to criminal and civil damages as well. ii) She should file a formal ethics complaint against the lawyer with the state bar association and a civil fraud suit naming the lawyer, the bank, the witnesses, and the notary...seeking actual and punitive damages in addition to having the court rule the loan and lien invalid.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Exactly what we thought! And the lawyer was the one who notarized the application. Unfortunately, my friend says she does not want the lawyer to lose his job so not sure she will pursue approaching the bar association. Personally, I think he needs a good slap on the hand. But, this is not my fight.


Thanks for the quick response and suggestions -- I will pass them on to her. And let's keep our fingers crossed as she is a terrific human being and does need to lose again!


You get the 5 stars! Thanks!



Thank you so much for your kind response. You're's my pleasure! I'll definitely keep you all in my prayers!