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Funny story about closing day disasters.  Well, funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you, I guess.

By Patrick O’Gilfoil Healy, New York Times

Sometimes, adultery and deceit can put a crimp in the closing. In the summer of 2001, Andrew Sokol, a real estate lawyer in Manhattan, was closing a condominium sale for a couple who had already relocated to California from their apartment in the East 60’s.

The joint buyers said they were husband and wife, and at closing, signed all the documents as such, Mr. Sokol

said. Mr. Sokol said the deal was almost finished when one of the lawyers asked to make a photocopy of the buyers’ driver’s licenses – a common request at closings – and the buyers blanched.

The husband, it turned out, was who he claimed to be, but the woman posing as his wife was actually his mistress, Mr. Sokol said. The couple lost their $56,000 deposit and walked away with nothing – and the sellers found another buyer.

“I couldn’t believe these people had gone to this elaborate fraud,” said Mr. Sokol, who would not name the buyer, seller or building involved. “This guy was trading on his wife’s credit and income.”

Complete article: TheNew York Times > Real Estate > Closing Day Disasters

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