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In a nutshell: I am threatening to sue an accountant and investor regarding a real estate deal between the investor and I that went bad. I wrote an initial letter (not shown) threatening a lawsuit which they turned over to their insurance agent. The insurance agent then wrote me requesting information (her letter is on the bottom). I then wrote the insurance agent a more detailed letter which I have not sent but appears below. I’m wondering about the following:

A. Is this worth putting my time into? Do I have a case, or even if I don’t, might the insurance agent, or the parties settle out of court to avoid a costly court case? Important note: There are lots of e-mails, but we never signed a written agreement between us regarding the profits of the house and what I should get (see below).

B. Can I file the case in any state, or does it have to be Texas? (the two parties live and signed in California), I myself was overseas the whole time.

C. Would hiring a lawyer (not really cost effective for this small amount) make a difference?

Here is the letter:

Dear Ms. Sanchez,

I am writing this letter to explain the circumstances regarding my claim.

Mr. Murray Marks and Mr. Ron Glass approached me in 2008 about using my name and credit history to help them to draw some further cash out a property located at 7017 Tocken Court, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78414. Apparently, they were both in serious financial trouble. Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks have been financial partners for many years together, and have vast experience in the area of real estate and own numerous properties. In this particular deal, Mr. Marks acted as the accountant. Mr. Glass acted as the investor who sold me the property.

Both Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks were also partners in this deal as well. For example, Mr. Glass bought this house from a business connection, Scott Cohen, who then sold it to Murray Marks, who then turned around and sold it back to Mr. Glass. They were both investors in the LLC that they formed and were working together. They are in constant communication even up to the present.

I am 51 years old, but I have never owned a home in the U.S. I have been a permanent resident of a Middle Eastern country since 1994, and know nothing about the real estate industry in the U.S. I have never been to Texas and had no motivation to own a home there, especially one with no equity in it, and especially at this point in my life when I am in serious financial difficulties and have been threatened by my creditors with prison over here.

I initially entered into this agreement with both Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks because they were my friends, their advanced ages led me to respect them both, and they had huge experience in real estate. In addition, they told me that they would split 50% of the proceeds from the profit on the house with me to help me out of my own financial situation. They also said that they would set up a fund to take care of the mortgage payments and that we would split any problems that might arise such as repairs.

Both Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks instructed me to advance money towards the house. This was supposed to be for repairs and the loan paperwork for the house, as well as to help settle the financial difficulties of Mr. Glass. Both assured me that, when the house was sold, they would return the money I had advanced to Mr. Glass.

This amounted to about 8,000 dollars as is documented in e-mails between the three of us. Mr. Marks and I calculated the correct amount and were more or less in agreement; however, Mr. Glass refused to acknowledge that any money was owed. He gave me verbal reasons for this in e-mail, but none were based on any records, bank statements, or bills that could be verified. In contrast, all of the funds that I forwarded to him were documented, and the financial records of Mr. Marks and Mr. Glass will bear this out if they would open these records and e-mails for inspection.

In terms of how I was harmed, first, and as was stated above, Mr. Glass never returned any of the money to me that I had advanced him for the home or as loans. Second I have incurred losses due to having to shoulder the mortgage from this house on my own, after Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks had said that they would set up a fund to ensure that there would be money for monthly payments. Third, Mr. Glass and Mr. Marks promised me that I would get 50% of any of the profits on the sale of this house after they had the house independently re-appraised.

Mr. Marks never signed a letter of engagement with me, but he acted as my financial advisor. In reality of fact, he acted as my representative, as well as Mr. Glasses. He represented himself as my accountant and explained that the deal would actually be to all of our benefit and that he would oversee the whole transaction. Mr. Glass, for his part, also advised me on other financial matters as well.

Throughout this real estat

6 Thoughts on Do I have a case? Will hiring a lawyer make a difference to the insurance co?
  1. Reply
    sina h
    July 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Pack your bags, rob a bank and leave the country.

  2. Reply
    NoraCat
    July 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Your question was too long and Yahoo! cut off a lot of it.

    But I got the gist of it, which is that you probably have been scammed, or at least have lost money in a real estate deal gone bad.

    It won’t cost you anything to simply call a lawyer and spend a few minutes on the phone explaining what happened, to try to find out if a lawyer could help you, and what it would cost.

    So that’s what I suggest you do.

  3. Reply
    mama outlaw
    July 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Please tell me this is high school homework.

  4. Reply
    mbrcatz
    July 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

    A. If you have no case, they aren’t going to settle.

    B. You can file in any state you want – but if you file in a state unrelated to the claim, you are much more likely to have the case automatically dismissed.

    C. The amount you can recover without a lawyer, in small claims court, varies by state – but is usually capped at $ 1,000 to $ 5,000. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you have to actually show up in court, in person, to argue your own case, or you automatically lose. A lawyer is going to cost you considerably more than $ 8000.

    Looks to me like you gave money to con men. If you weren’t listed on the title of the house, it’s going to be almost impossible to prove that the money wasn’t a gift. Even if you think you can prove it in court, I strongly suggest this is going to cost you WAY more than $ 8,000 to get a judgement – and even if you win, you’re not going to ever see one red dime from these thieves. What they did, isn’t covered by insurance. You had no written contract with either of them.

    You got scammed. Count your blessings, that you only lost $ 8,000, and learn a life lesson from it – get rich quick schemes, only make the guy you give the money to rich – not you.

  5. Reply
    car253
    July 13, 2011 at 1:23 am

    First you picked the wrong category. You might repost your question under “real estate”.

    Then file a complaint with consumer affairs or the government agency in your city and/or state.

  6. Reply
    lucy
    July 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

    1st off, no one here answering the question are lawyers period.

    You need to contact a lawyer and bring all your evidence in person to discuss your options. A lawyer can tell you if you have a case or not, or to just let it go, since you will lose.

    If you paid out or spent $ 8,000, what would another couple of hundred be just to find out if you have a case or not?? One consult with a lawyer will give you your legal rights or if you will lose.

    good luck

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