A new bill, House Bill 5665, was recently introduced to the House of Representatives, creating the Class 3 felony for false representation and fraudulent claims for real estate title. This bill has been long overdue.

Legislative Summary:

“Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Provides that a person commits false representation concerning title to real estate, a Class 4 felony, when he or she knowingly, as part of any transaction or legal proceeding under the Mortgage Foreclosure Article of the Code, claims an interest in real estate or executes, notarizes, or records a fraudulent real estate document and that a person commits a pattern of making false representations concerning title to real estate, a Class 3 felony, by committing false representation concerning title to real estate in 2 or more instances with a similar pattern or purpose which are not isolated incidents within the preceding 4 years and in which the aggregate loss or intended loss is more than $250. Provides that the Attorney General has a private right of action for civil penalties arising from such conduct. Provides that a private cause of action for the owner or holder of the beneficial interest in real estate which is the subject of a false representation concerning title may bring a civil action in the circuit court in the county in which the real estate is located to recover damages suffered by the owner or holder of the beneficial interest plus reasonable attorney’s fees.

House Floor Amendment No. 1

Changes provisions imposing criminal liability for false representation concerning title to real estate in the case of a person who executes or notarizes a document purporting to create an interest in, or a lien or encumbrance against, real estate or causes a document to be recorded in the recorder’s office by: applying the provisions to a person who “has specific knowledge” (rather than a person who “knows or has reason to know”) of the nature of the document; and deleting language applying the provisions to a document that is groundless.”




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