NON-DISCLOSURE

A different form of deceit does not involve direct lies. Instead, one party may neglect to mention something critical.  Lets say that a seller of real property knows that, every times it rains, the water from up the hill comes into the house and floods the living room.   Lets say that the seller knows that he has tried to fix this, but that the problem can not be fixed without very expensive alterations to the property.  Lets say that the seller neglects to mention any of this, when selling the house.

Even though the seller made no false statements, he or she may well be fraud.  Non-disclosure of an important fact can be the basis for a fraud suit in at least three situations.  First, if one party has exclusive knowledge of facts not known to the other party.  Second, when one party actively conceals material facts from the other.  Third, when one party makes some statements about a situation, but does not tell the complete truth.  In a real estate sale, one of these three fact patterns will often be present, if a seller does not disclose facts known to him or her.

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