You have bought the perfect home—or what you thought was the perfect home. After you moved in, you noticed that the home has a serious problem that the seller didn’t disclose. Can you hold the seller liable for fraud? What about the inspector?

First of all, don’t panic. If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud, contact an attorney. They will be able to help you determine if you have a case and the correct course of legal action.

Can Bad Disclosures Affect My Home Loan?

If the home you took KC home loans out on has major problems that weren’t disclosed, it could affect the value of the home. For example, you bought a home that you were told was valued at $100,000, but undisclosed water damage reduced the home to $80,000. You would now owe more on the home than what it is actually worth.

Did the Seller Give You a Guarantee or Lie?

When you purchased the home, did you get a guarantee from the seller that all was well with the home and the inspection? If so, you could pursue damages so the seller will fix the problem. If it turns out that the seller knew about the problem and lied about them, you can take them to court for fraud.

If the seller honestly didn’t know about the problem or that the statement was false then they cannot be held liable. While that may seem unfair, realize that disclosure laws are also there to protect the seller.

Inspectors Can Sometimes be Held Liable

In some cases, home inspectors can be held liable, but most have a liability clause in their contract that limits what they can be held liable for. For example, small problems like a broken door handle is usually of no concern, but if a major component of the home needs to be replaced, you can try to get the inspector to pay for reimbursement.

Before you choose an inspector, be sure that they have insurance that can cover the cost of repairs of problems they didn’t disclose. Insurance will help handle claims and avoid an expensive lawsuit.

What Happens if I Win the Case?

If you decide to sue the seller and the court rules in your favor, the seller can be responsible for:

  • Repairing the defect
  • Paying for your legal fees
  • Taking back the home
  • Punitive damages in the case of fraud

Up Next: What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Mortgage Discrimination?

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.