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In SC, is a real estate broker and/or seller legally responsible

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In SC, is a real estate broker and/or seller legally responsible to point out errors in a HUD statement at closing?

AttorneyJohnJ :

Hello, I am a professional here to assist you. I appreciate your use of this service.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Both a broker and a seller have an obligation to point out errors they see on the HUD statement. All parties have an obligation including a buyer.

AttorneyJohnJ :

The agent owes a special duty to their client to ensure the form is correct. The form is normally provided with sufficient time for a review and correction of errors.

AttorneyJohnJ :

A complaint may be filed against a SC real estate agent with the Real Estate Commission here:

AttorneyJohnJ :

http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/REC/index.asp?file=complaint.htm

Customer:

Legal responsibility? Did not ask about obligation.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Buyers should review their HUD statement for errors as they do not want to commit to incorrect loan terms.

Customer:

Asked about broker or seller.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Legal responsibility is a broad term. Are you asking if a buyer can file suit for failure to disclose or correct an error?

AttorneyJohnJ :

What was the error?

AttorneyJohnJ :

I assume the HUD statement differed from the contract?

Customer:

A seller was overpaid at closing and both he and his broker/agent were aware of the honest mistake made by the closing attorney and neither asked any question. All of these people in question are mutual friends and I am struggling with the deceit.

Customer:

To the tune of $250K in additional proceeds

AttorneyJohnJ :

I see.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Was a refund provided or did they retain the money?

AttorneyJohnJ :

The details are important. If fraud was involved, that does support a civil cause of action

Customer:

The seller has retained the money and has been advised by the broker that they are not responsible for ensuring that someone else does their job properly. Another attorney has advised them that there has been nothing done criminally and that it is a civil issue.

Customer:

I have asked them both to do the right thing and will lose both as friends but don't need them. The attoreney that made the mistake is not aware that I know of the issue at this point.

AttorneyJohnJ :

For a crime to occur, there must be criminal intent. Accepting funds you are not owed is not a crime.

AttorneyJohnJ :

But,....

AttorneyJohnJ :

There is recourse to recover funds overpaid by accident. This would occur in a civil court. There are a variety of causes of action one may allege from breach of contract to potentially fraud.

AttorneyJohnJ :

It is possible to file a criminal complaint. Ultimately, pursuit is a decision for the authorities as they weigh whether there is evidence of criminal intent.

Customer:

surely an ethics violation by the broker and if the seller was aware in advance that there was an error and let it go, there bhad to b e criminal intent on his part

Customer:

fraud anyway I guess

AttorneyJohnJ :

Criminal fraud would be difficult to show unless there was some conspiracy with another party at the closing to obtain the funds.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Civil fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of contract among other civil actions could be considered.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Also, the real estate board ethics complaint as you mentioned.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Any other questions?

Customer:

Thank you very much for your time, excellent discussion, thanks

AttorneyJohnJ :

Thank you for using this service

AttorneyJohnJ :

Please follow-up as needed.

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Customer:

Will do.....Thanks!

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