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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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We believe that my step mother in law has forged or some how

Customer Question

We believe that my step mother in law has forged or some how manipulated her way into getting my husbands name off the deed of his fathers house, what can we do?
My father in law had my son on his deed to his house, we filed bankruptcy a few weeks ago and when we went in to sign the final papers our lawyer told us that my husband was removed from the deed of his fathers home. This was a huge suprise to my husband and his dad because neither of them remember or even knew that he had been taken off. We pulled the deed from the local court records and sure enough there is a quit to claim deed filed with both signatures and a notary stamp but still, my husband and his dad have no recolection of signing these papers. I contacted the notary on the forms and to his suprise, he has no record of it either and he said he keeps record of everything. We have had A LOT of problems with his step mother and her stealing from my husband and even her husband (my father in law). A few years ago she forged my father in laws signature to have his retirement annuities cashed out by telling the insurance company that he was working out of town and that he couldnt make it into the office, so they gave her the paperwork and she signed his name, took it back and they gave her the check so he is now trying to get copies of everything so that he can file the charges for her doing this as well. Anyway, can someone please tell me what we should do, who we need to contact or if we can do anything about this? Also, can you please tell me what the penalties for this could potentially be if she were found guilty for forging the deed and or the annuities? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.

I am sorry to learn of this situation. Forgery is a criminal offense, and in Pennsylvania it is usually a 2nd Degree Felony (chargeable by up to 10 years in prison with up to a $25,000.00 fine - this is separate from an order to compensate the victim).

You can report this conduct to your local police department or law enforcement agency and they can help put you into touch with the proper division within their department. As with most financial crimes, you will need to be prepared to put the documentary evidence together as most agencies lack the resources to do so independently.

You can file a civil lawsuit against someone who has committed forgery by filing a civil lawsuit for (1) fraud; and (2) conversion. While the fraud claim may not always apply, the cause of action for conversion is essentially the civil law equivalent of theft. You can recover the full value of the money that was taken, as well as get an order transferring the property back (if it has not already been transferred to a "bona fide purchaser" in which case you will get the money equivalent for the property value. You will also be entitled to punitive damages, this is an amount set by the Court to compensate you for the defendant's intentional bad acts (a punishment to the defendant).

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.

Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

REFERENCES:
Penal Code: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=41
Sentencing Guidelines: http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/state-felony-laws/pennsylvania-felony-class.htm
Fraud litigation in Pennsylvania: http://www.stradley.com/library/files/prk-fraud.pdf
Explanation of Conversion cause of action: http://www.injurylawsourcepa.com/2011/03/theft-conversion-civil-punitive-damages.html

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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq.
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Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.