Laying Down the Law – Provident Law® Obtains Judgment For Fraud And Treble Damages Regarding Slander Of Title
September 18, 2023
Attorney Christopher Charles and Provident Law® recently secured a civil judgment against their client’s adversary in excess of $100,000 and attorneys’ fees regarding the wrongful recording of a deed concerning their client’s real property. Their client purchased the property as an investment in the early 90s to use as a rental property. Years later, the client discovered that their tenant conspired with a bad actor to try and steal their property with a forged deed.
The tenant and their co-conspirator worked together to manufacture a warranty deed which purported to convey the title from the true owner to the co-conspirator. And they forged the signatures of the true owner and the notary by literally cutting and pasting signatures using digital computer software. After the co-conspirators forged the fraudulent deed, they caused it to be recorded with the County Recorder’s Office and then attempted to the sell the property to a third party.
Thankfully the true owner of the property discovered the fraud before the fraudsters were able to sell the property to an unsuspecting third party and the true owner hired Mr. Charles and Provident Law® to protect their legal interests.
Provident Law® immediately filed a civil action for fraud, slander of title, quiet title, and racketeering and quickly recorded a Notice of Lis Pendens with the County Recorder’s Office to prevent the fraudsters from selling the property to a third party or further encumbering the property with a mortgage. Following months of litigation, the fraudsters capitulated, and the Court awarded the true owner clear title to the property and damages against the defendants, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees per Arizona’s slander of title statute. See A.R.S. § 33-420. And because the Court awarded judgment against the defendants for fraud, the money judgment is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy per Section 525(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Our team of real estate attorneys at Provident Law® have over 100 years of combined real estate law experience and are well equipped to resolve any real estate title dispute. If you or someone you know have an issue with their real estate title, contact our office today at (480) 388-3343 or online and schedule an appointment to speak with one of our real estate specialists.
Christopher J. Charles is the Founder and Managing Partner of Provident Law ®. He is a State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist and a former “Broker Hotline Attorney” for the Arizona Association of REALTORS ® (the “AAR”). In 2017, Mr. Charles obtained one of the Top Ten Civil Verdicts for his client in a real estate dispute. Mr. Charles holds the AV ® Preeminent Rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system which connotes the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He serves as an Arbitrator and Mediator for the AAR regarding real estate disputes; and he served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee where he helped draft the Agency Instructions and the Residential Landlord/Tenant Eviction Jury Instructions. Christopher regularly teaches continuing education classes at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business, and he can be reached at Chris@ProvidentLawyers.com or at 480-388-3343.
with Christopher J. Charles, Esq.