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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6769
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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We just bought a house and we found out today that we may have

Customer Question

We just bought a house and we found out today that we may have extensive mold damage. We're having a company come out tomorrow to verify. If the mold damage does exist is there any recourse I have? There was no mention of mold in the house on the sellers disclosure. I just found out that the gentleman that I bought the house from was previously convicted of mold fraud as he owned a mold remediation company and would "Cook houses" to increase the insurance claim. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison. We did sign an "As Is" agreement and I'm afraid this was him covering his tracks. There is no mention of mold damage on the seller's disclosure though. We reside in Texas. Do we have any hope? What steps can we take to protect ourselves?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I forgot to add that we did have a home inspection and mold inspection done and nothing was found. I didn't know if that was another avenue to persue as well.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.
I understand that you bought it "as is" and had an independent inspection report before you closed, and no mold was shown in the report. In that case the former owner either did not know about the mold, or covered it up with Kilz or paint. In order to sue the former owner on the basis of his disclosures you would have to show that he knew that the mold was there when he signed the disclosure statement. Can you do that? The inspector might be liable if you can prove by expert testimony that he should have detected the mold condition but failed to do so. If not, you may be on your own as far as the cost of repair goes. I know this is not good news, but try to avoid throwing good money after bad by suing somebody who you cannot collect from. From what you say about that fellow, he appears to be that type of individual.I hope that this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating for my assistance. If you have follow-up questions I will be happy to address them.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is there anything you can recommend that I do regarding sending him a threat to sue based on this new information and letting him know that I know about his past in hopes of him making this right? I thought about meticulously documenting everything I had found with photographs, etc. along with articles about his previous felonies, and then sending it all to both real estate agents, the seller, and the inspector to help recoup costs.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.
It certainly would not hurt. You might get some insurance companies involved that way. Be careful not to go overboard and accuse the person of criminal activity, for instance a claim of fraud.

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