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Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent

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1 Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:35 pm

siberian


Arresto Menor
Hi, I badly need advice. I was fooled by a particular real estate broker whom I had transacted. I was supposed to rent a unit(unit A as example), talked to the owner of unit A and was told that I can coordinate with the broker if I did intend to rent the place. So after a few days, I decided to get the unit. My mistake was not being able to get the number of the unit owner. So since I felt that the broker was responsible for this, i asked for the unit owner's number and it was given to me by the broker. Then broker told me to pay in a matter of two days since another party was already interested to get the unit. Not wanting to have my slot taken, I agreed. Met the broker in a cafe and she said owner just relayed to her to be the one to receive post dated checks and 2 mos deposit and 1 month advance cash. I signed the contract and told broker to sign a received by stating I payed so and so amount for the unit.
I messaged the number given to me by the broker, with regards to the unit owner, just to inform him I paid the amount, but never got a reply.

Fast forward to the day when I have to move in to the unit, she gave me a lot of excuses(broker), that she will have to get the key from the unit owner's daughter since the wife of the owner died and the place cannot be rented anymore, so she said she is recommending me a different unit which was the friend of the unit owner(unit A). I smelled something fishy already, but since I did not have much of choice that day when I was moving out from the condo and moving in to the new place, I got the different unit she recommended me(Unit B). Now I called the admin the ff. day to verify my suspicions and found out that:

1. The phone number she gave me of Unit A owner is fraud. I got the original number of Unit A owner and found out that everything was a lie, including the story she made with regards to the wife of the owner who passed away. And Unit A owner never had any idea I payed to the broker or that I confirmed I wanted the place.

2. That there is already someone renting Unit A a few days ago.

So this case is fraud, and I want to know what is the legal punishment for this??

Moving on, I am now renting Unit B. Since I have not met the owner of Unit B, since broker just gave me the keys to this unit the day I moved, I asked the admin for the real number of Unit B owner coz it turned out broker gave me another phony number and I could not reach unit owner B.

Guess what, Unit Owner B said they got a check(which they thought came from me) which the broker gave. There was even no contract yet and they received a check of the 2 months deposit 1 month advance from the broker. The 1 month advance was paid to broker for broker's fee.

There are points here to consider:

I paid cash to the broker for the 1 months advance 2 month deposit. And now, the 2 months deposit which should be in the hands of the unit owner, cannot be encashed since it bounced! It was the broker's own check that was used and the cash money I gave was used for her own self. Unit Owner B wants me to pay the 2 months deposit regardless if I was fooled or not by the broker, they do not give a damn at all! She even said that they will padlock the unit A if they do not get the money. I said they received the checks without knowing whose is it, and with no contract, then they are blaming me for it. They said it was my problem to solve if I got fooled by the broker.

So now I am running after the broker for the 2 months deposit but the second time she gave a check, it bounced back again. I am sick and tired of it so I am planning to file a police report as of this writing. Oh and by the way, I am one of her victims, as I found out she had numerous victims already with this kind of thing, I might have been the fourth one, but they just resolved it in the baranggay, not in a police station. One of the cases she did was she tried to imitate unit owner's signature and had the unit owner's place rented without the lessor not knowing this, By the time the lessor opened the unit, behold, there was someone renting his unit without his knowledge. But that's a diff story already.

I want to know, if ever she pays the remaining money, can I still file a case against her for fraud and estafa? How much will it cost for court case for this? How long will it take? She lives in the same village as I do, and has a thick face doing all this. If she cannot pay, is it possible for the sheriff to get some of her stuff(possessions inside the house) as payment for this? What is the fine for her for estafa and fraud? Any legal advice is much appreciated.

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2 Re: Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:47 pm

attyLLL


moderator
first send a demand letter for return of the money. you must have proof of her receipt. either do it personally and ask her to sign, or send it via registered mail with return card. in addition, you can stick the notice on her door if she refuses and take a picture of it.

negotiate with the unit owner. refuse to leave as long as you are paying the monthly rent. you can argue that the broker was their authorized representative as may be proven by the fact that she had the keys.

misappropriation of funds entrusted to you is estafa by abuse of confidence. if you live in the same village, it may be best if you start off at the bgy because you might be able to end the matter there.

you can file a complaint directly with the prosecutor's office.

you can just file a civil small claims case for collection also at the mtc.


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3 Re: Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:35 pm

siberian


Arresto Menor
attyLLL wrote:first send a demand letter for return of the money. you must have proof of her receipt. either do it personally and ask her to sign, or send it via registered mail with return card. in addition, you can stick the notice on her door if she refuses and take a picture of it.

negotiate with the unit owner. refuse to leave as long as you are paying the monthly rent. you can argue that the broker was their authorized representative as may be proven by the fact that she had the keys.

misappropriation of funds entrusted to you is estafa by abuse of confidence. if you live in the same village, it may be best if you start off at the bgy because you might be able to end the matter there.

you can file a complaint directly with the prosecutor's office.

you can just file a civil small claims case for collection also at the mtc.

Hi Atty,

Thank you for your reply. Someone already filed for her in the baranggay near our village for fraud and demanded their money back a year ago. Will it be helpful if I also file in that same baranggay?

Another issue is for the demand letter, if I create the demand letter and if it has not been fulfilled, then is that the only time I file a civil small claims case?

Also, it is not only about the money she owes me, the estafa issue that I am mad about, it is about getting fooled, and all the mental stress she caused me. And knowing that I had been one of her victims. As of this writing, I have heard from a reliable source that she fooled someone again similar to my case. I do not want her to just pay me and run away, what I want is for her to be imprisoned with a high bail, because she is a menace to society. Is this even possible? Because as long as she is out, she will keep on doing it to everyone she meets, innocent people out there other than me.

Thanks for the good advice Atty, please keep it going, I very much appreciate someone giving me a legal advice.

Smile

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4 Re: Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:27 pm

attyLLL


moderator
it has to be filed at the barangay where she lives.

put on the letter, she has 5 days to pay, upon lapse you can initiate the complaint.

if a criminal complaint is what you are after, then forget the barangay and the small claims case. after the demand letter, file your criminal case at the prosecutor's office. note there will be some fees to be paid. i also recommend you get a lawyer to help prepare your complaint. it may be that you will be spending more than what you lost.


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5 Re: Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:36 am

siberian


Arresto Menor
attyLLL wrote:it has to be filed at the barangay where she lives.

put on the letter, she has 5 days to pay, upon lapse you can initiate the complaint.

if a criminal complaint is what you are after, then forget the barangay and the small claims case. after the demand letter, file your criminal case at the prosecutor's office. note there will be some fees to be paid. i also recommend you get a lawyer to help prepare your complaint. it may be that you will be spending more than what you lost.

Hi Atty,

If I go for the demand letter and small claims case, can she still be imprisoned for it if she does not pay even if it is less than 100k?

And, if I go for the barangay and she dishonors it, can the barangay do something about it?

Thanks for the reply.

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6 Re: Estafa and Fraud from real estate agent on Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:38 am

attyLLL


moderator
small claims is just for collection. no imprisonment.

powers of bgy are just to try to convince the parties to settle.


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