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Seller Fails To Provide Disclosure

Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A

REM #LAW 739

By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Summary: A ThinkGlink reader purchased a home and was told she received all the disclosures. Now it appears one was missing. Ilyce and Sam explain what recourse this reader may have.

Q: When we purchased our house 18 months ago, we signed a document that stated we received all of the disclosures noted. We just found out that we did not receive one of the disclosures that was supposed to be included.
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Can we put the burden of proof on the seller's realtor or our escrow office that they provided us the full disclosure in the first place? Are we too late to pursue an issue with that disclosure because we said we received it?

A: These are good questions. By signing the document, you pretty much would need to prove that you did not receive the document in question. The bigger question is why are you making an issue of it 18 months down the road?

Do you need the document to deliver to a buyer when you sell your property? Or is there now a problem that you would have known about had you received the document and you have been harmed?

If you didn’t get the document and want to have a copy for your records, see if the lender or escrow company will give you another copy. If there is a fee to provide you with the copy, see if they will waive it. If they won’t waive the fee and it isn’t too much, you may have to bite the bullet and pay it to get the document or find someone in your development that has the document and copy his or hers.

If you have a problem now, you should consult an attorney in your area to discuss your options. In some cases, if a seller fails to deliver the proper disclosures and other information, the seller can be subject to penalties and fines and be liable to the buyer for some damages.

You may find out that you will have to prove that you didn’t get the documents and you may also find out that there may be a time limit in which you can go after the seller for the seller’s failure to deliver the documents to you. If that time limit is one year, you may be out of luck.


Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact them through Ilyce’s website




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