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Do I have a case for a consumer fraud?

San Leandro, CA |

I am the victim described in this article published in Bay Area Times newspaper recently:

The U.S.Bank approval letter that was provided by the builder was a fictitious letter for which I have written evidence.

I would like to find out if any Real Estate or Consumer Fraud attorney is willing to look into my case on a contingency basis. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 1


It appears from the link you provided that your specific claims have been resolved by arbitration (albeit unfavorably to you). As you may know, it can be very very difficult to obtain a court order to set aside an arbitration result. That bar is very high and pertains mostly to the conduct of the arbitrator, not the underlying merits of the claim.

It also appears that there is an on-going class action and that you would be a member of the represented class but for the arbitration result.

Given these legal proceedings, there is strong doubt that you have the legal right to initiate a new action and proceed to attempt an award for damages. It may be that counsel in one of the actions currently pending against this defendant could best and most economically assist you.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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I alleged fraud during arbitration, but the matter was not addressed by the arbitrator, and as such, this particular matter was never adjudicated.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


In my experience, that contention will not suffice to overturn the arbitration result. In my experience, the award is vulnerable to judicial reversal only if there is admissible evidence of fraud underlying the arbitrator's decision, a very high and narrow standard. The experience of other practitioners may differ.



Thank you, but I am not trying to get the arbitration award overturned. I know it's almost an impossible battle to win in CA. I am talking about bringing an independent law suit for Consumer Fraud against TBI Mortgage (an affiliate of the builder) for procuring a fictitious loan approval letter with the intent of retaining my deposits.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


The need for you to consult specifically and individually with a skilled and experienced litigator is fully apparent from our exchange in these post-question comments. I am concerned that your fraud issue was subsumed in the issues of the claim(s) that was arbitrated; you seem certain that it was not. My concern is based in part on the laws against splitting of causes of action. Even if the fraud claim is not specifically pre-empted by the arbitration, there may be conclusive pre-emption as to specific factual contentions and issues in any subsequent civil by the necessary underpinnings to the arbitration result. Consult with an attorney who can give you the detailed and incisive analysis that your situation merits. Avvo is great for identifying pitfalls and alerting consumers to the broad legal issues. But, for finely ground analyses, the capabilities of this Q and A service are quickly exhausted.

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