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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 99450
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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A friend of mine is trying to find out how to go about filing

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A friend of mine is trying to find out how to go about filing a fraud case, which he is not sure would be a bank fraud or a mortgage fraud. Recently, he discovered while applying for a loan modification, that a refinance had been issued on his house in 2005 and a check for $56,104 was signed and deposited in a PNC branch bank. He never saw or signed the check before three months ago while filing for the modification loan. He went contacted the title people and the bank and they both did nothing to resolve this. Where this large amount of money is, who received it, is a mystery.

Please contact us with instructions on how to proceed. My friends name isXXXXX His cell phone number is (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

Thank you,

XXXXX XXXXX-Rivera [email protected]
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply.

I am very sorry for your friend's situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Who is the culprit here, exactly? Apologies, but it is not clear. Was it HIS check with his (fake) signature?
2) What county/state is this in?
3) JustAnswer experts cannot represent customers as clients, we only provide general information. Is this acceptable?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ely and thank you for responding. Raymond's computer is not working, so he asked me to help. First, I understand the check was issued from a Wells Fargo Bank by the title company, deposited into a PNC bank with his forged signature, back in 2005. Raymond never received the check or money. Second, XXXXX XXXXXves in Englewood, New Jersey. Any advice on how to proceed would be much appreciated. What type of lawyer should he get or is this a federal (bank)issue for the attorney general's office? He just learned of this three months ago, while applying for a loan modification.

Thank you for your clarification, M.

1) This is not a federal issue, but, a state issue for the state Court.

2) To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

Here, the title company (or whoever forged the check) may be liable for fraud, appropriation, and negligence per se.

The five elements of common-law fraud are: (1) a material misrepresentation of a presently existing or past fact; (2) knowledge or belief by the defendant of its falsity; (3) an intention that the other person rely on it; (4) reasonable reliance thereon by the other person; and (5) resulting damages. Jewish Ctr. of Sussex County v. Whale, 86 N.J. 619, 624-25, 432 A.2d 521 (1981).

Negligence per se is doing something illegal in many cases, such as here.

3) Punitive damages may be requested as well as actual damages.

4) An attorney is recommended. One should not go about this alone. May I recommend the NJ Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP. The type of attorney should be LITIGATION or GENERAL LAW.

5) A complaint with the Attorney's General may also be filed, which may correspond to the civil matter (the AG may pursue their own investigation), and, pursue civil/criminal matters against the party that did this.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the reply button to keep chatting, or please rate and submit your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correctt. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
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