How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Law Educator, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Deed of Trust was altered after it was signed and notarized.

This answer was rated:

My Deed of Trust was altered after it was signed and notarized. Someone struck through the original Trustee name on the "definitions" section of the DOT and hand wrote a different name and address. Every document filed after this named the handwritten Trustee. I r'cvd chap 7 bankruptcy discharge. I wrote to banks attorneys pointing out that the DOT was invalid, they held foreclosure sale any way and bank bought the house back at sale. Isn't the altered DOT invalid? what can I do? State is VA.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Who exactly wrote a different anme and address? Are those valid parties to the transaction? Was there an error with the initial documentation? When was the DOT altered?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Someone(not me, not the Trustee) made alterations after it's execution and the notary return of the package to the mortgage broker but before it's filing at courthouse. I was never notified that a change had been made, I found it at the courthouse. In VA the trustee must be a VA resident. 1st paragraph states ...This DOT is given by Vic as borrower (trustor) to John as Trustee.

Later in section noted as "Definitions" it is typed

(D) Trustee is John 101 ln Charlotte NC

then stricken through and hand written change to

RichardXXXXXfredricksburg VA.

All subsequent court filings cite the DOT executed on xx-xx-xxxx with Richard as Trustee. Including the foreclosure advertisement and the notice to me of the sale. I'm still living in my house as I do not think they had a valid DOT on which to foreclose. The underlying debt was discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I need specific VA law info.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If a deed of trust has been forged or altered after signing by fraud, this is grounds to void the deed and to also seek to prosecute the party who illegally altered that deed. The burden of proof of the fraud would be on the party alleging the fraud, meaning you would have to prove it was altered after signing (if it was crossed through and not initialed by you and the other party, this is an indication of a fraudulent change).

Virginia Code Section 55-58.1 (2) requires only that a person named as trustee be a Virginia resident:

No person not a resident of this Commonwealth may be named or act, in person or by agent or attorney, as the trustee of a security trust, either individually or as one of several trustees, the other or others of which are residents of this Commonwealth.

A party secured by a deed of trust has the right and power to appoint a substitute trustee. Va. Code § 55-59 (9). However, this substitute trustee must conform to 55-58.1(2).

Thus, you would have to answer the foreclosure suit in court based on fraud to invalidate the deed of trust and seek to have the foreclosure stopped and the action invalidated based on the invalid and fraudulent DOT.

Thank you so much for using I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. PLEASE use REPLY to EXPERT if you would like more information or if you feel something was not included in your answer.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. Based on the handwriting and the other note on the DOT I believe it was an employee of the mortgage broker who made the alteration on the DOT. The DOT was not filed at the courthouse until almost a full month after execution, giving plenty of time for an actual correction to be made, rather than altering the document. I am looking for an attorney to bring suite, do you practice in VA?

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, the rules of this site forbid any of the experts on this site from engaging in representation of anyone from this site and they restrict us to only providing information. I do apologize, but the only thing we can do is suggest to find a local consumer protection attorney or real estate attorney at the same sites used by other attorneys, or or
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Law Educator, Esq. and 2 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you provide the VA code section upon which the grounds for fraud would be based? I want to make sure I am clear on this. Are you saying that if my statements are correct that I would move the court to void the DOT based on the fraudulent change in trustee by a person other than a proper trustee under 55-59 ( 9) ?

Thank you for your follow up.

The Code of VA states:

§ 18.2-172. Forging, uttering, etc., other writings.

If any person forge any writing, other than such as is mentioned in §§ 18.2-168 and 18.2-170, to the prejudice of another's right, or utter, or attempt to employ as true, such forged writing, knowing it to be forged, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person who shall obtain, by any false pretense or token, the signature of another person, to any such writing, with intent to defraud any other person, shall be deemed guilty of the forgery thereof, and shall be subject to like punishment.


You are saying the signature on the DOT was forged because it was changed after signing, so this is the charge and forgery is a fraud.