You buy a property. You use solicitors or licensed conveyancers for the intended purchase.
The seller of the property also has solicitors or licensed conveyancers for the intended sale.
You found the property for sale through local estate agents.
You have inspected the property and met with the intended seller.
A price is agreed. Contracts are exchanged. There is no mortgage or any charges on the property.
Completion takes place. Your monies are transferred over to the seller’s solicitor.
You then receive a call from the Land Registry to say that…title cannot be registered because the person purporting to sell the property, is not the actual seller. It is a fraud, and the purported seller is a fraudster. Horror of horrors!
It is a criminal matter, you say.
You contact the Police through Action Fraud and receive a crime reference number thinking this can be dealt within hours of being reported.
You do not hear from Action Fraud for weeks if not months because…they are over-burdened with notices of fraud, they have insufficient funding, and insufficient people and support staff.
You look for a civil court remedy. Who do you blame?
Your lawyer? Their lawyer? The fraudster? Continue reading