Solicitor sold my property to a fraudster?

Solicitor sold my property to a fraudster?

11:12 AM, 15th January 2021, About 9 months ago 12

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A solicitor sold my property to a fraudster. Fraudster produced fake utility bill and a driving licence in my name (fake utility bills and driving licences can be bought for £5.00 on the internet). The law society’s recommends that as long as the documents are from an independent source they are acceptable to the solicitor whether they are genuine or not. I had to go to the court to reverse the sale deed with significant legal costs.

The insurance company of the Sellers’s solicitor is not paying any compensation to me for the costs I had incurred, insisting that the solicitor has followed the guideline as stipulated by the law society; the documents submitted by the fraudster are from an independent source irrespective of the documents are genuine or not.

However, the law society is investigating the transaction. As the law society is a closed circle, they will support the solicitor and show a single finger to me.

Does anyone know how I pursue the case further? Please note it can happen to anyone as long as there are sloppy solicitors.

John



Comments

by Elana

11:54 AM, 15th January 2021, About 9 months ago

I am so sorry this has happened to you and unfortunately it will happen to many more of us.

I cannot offer any advice to you but what I can do is ask all property owners to please register their properties with the government property alert scheme - it's free and lets you know if 'official searches and applications are received against a monitored property'.

https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/

Good luck with getting help around this and recovering your losses.

by Steve Masters

11:59 AM, 15th January 2021, About 9 months ago

I don't have an answer for you John but I can suggest that others protect themselves from a similar situation happening to them.
There are various ways to put restrictions on your title deeds at HM Land Registry.
Google "Protect your land and property from fraud"

by Ron H-W

12:43 PM, 15th January 2021, About 9 months ago

One might expect solicitors to have had training - and plently of practice - in verifying identity. But this assertion, regarding the Law Society’s "recommendations", indicates a far lower level of care than would be required of a landlord under the "Right to Rent" checks!

by Ian Narbeth

12:47 PM, 15th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Dear John
I am sorry you are out of pocket. I can assure you that the Law Society does not simply support solicitors. However, this does not appear to be a case of misconduct but rather of the solicitor being duped by a fraudster and so the Law Society may say it is a private matter. If the solicitor has behaved negligently you may have a claim but the Law Society does not discipline solicitors simply for making mistakes.

Irrespective of whether the solicitor's insurers will pay up you may have a claim but I am afraid you will need to incur fees to investigate and pursue such a claim and the insurers will resist it. What does your solicitor say about the prospects of success?

by Jessie Jones

8:48 AM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Elana at 15/01/2021 - 11:54
The Land Registry link is great, thank you. Just registered my houses and it only took about 5 minutes to set up the account and add them.

by Hiremath

10:38 AM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Elana at 15/01/2021 - 11:54
Hi Elana, The fraud happened in Scotland. In Scotland, there is no such thing as "Land registry Alart" database.

by Ron H-W

12:20 PM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Not immediately relevant, but it might prove useful to do a bit of research around this:
https://www.nelsonslaw.co.uk/solicitors-liable-buyers-loss-property-transaction-case/

by Bristol Landlord

17:38 PM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

John, sorry you lost out on this. Whether the sellers solicitors were duped or not it would help to get the facts checked by a company like Nelsons to assess if you have a case to sue them for your losses due to Professional Negligence.
I have not had any dealings with the Law Society but have previously made a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority about a firm of solicitors.
It may be worth filing a complaint to the SRA about these solicitors and see if they will investigate. The SRA are extremely slow but it won’t cost you anything to make a complaint. And you have I believe 6 years from the “event” to bring legal action.
In my case the solicitors allowed, at conveyancing, my parent’s jointly owned house to be sold and the assisted living retirement flat they were buying with the proceeds to be registered with the Land Registry entirely in the name of my sister, even though she didn’t contribute a penny towards the purchase.
At the time my father was 85yrs old and under the undue influence of my sister. My mother was 88yrs old with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and wasn’t actually at the conveyancing. My sister signed the land transfer form in place of our mother and posing as her Power of Attorney, although it was myself and father who were jointly our mother’s LPA.
The conveyancing solicitor apparently never checked for proof my sister was actually our mother’s LPA.
I should get in a few weeks time a letter from the SRA outlining their findings. The SRA will not investigate my sister, that’s outside their remit and is in the hands of the police, but will investigate professional misconduct by the conveyancing solicitor.
Depending on the findings of the SRA my solicitor and I will decide on whether to sue the conveyancing solicitors for Professional Negligence.
The SRA findings will also I hope be useful evidence to help me sue my sister.
So all this to say, it’s maybe worth pursuing a complaint with the SRA to see if you can get a finding from them to help you with a case to sue the offending solicitors.

by Bristol Landlord

18:14 PM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 16/01/2021 - 17:38
Also don’t forget to make a complaint to the police about the fraudster, basically make as many complaints as you can to as many organisations as you can, then you can decide later on what’s useful to you.

by Seething Landlord

18:20 PM, 16th January 2021, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 16/01/2021 - 17:38
Complaints against Scottish solicitors should be made to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission at https://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk/

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