Wood County couple sues over purchase of home

CHARLESTON — A Wood County couple are suing two companies and two individuals for fraud, unconscionable inducement and unauthorized practice of law, among other things.

In June 2006, Brandon Dooley and Mary Dooley were looking to purchase a home and upon calling a real estate office for assistance, were directed to a Realtor, according to a complaint filed Nov. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Vericrest Financial and Century Title & Escrow Services are the two companies involved, and Kristina Spader and Stephen L. Scohy are the individuals.

The Dooleys were shown the home and provided a contract of sale that made the sale contingent upon approved valuation of the home. The Dooleys claim they relied on market valuation of the property to proceed with the purchase.

On July 31, 2006, the real estate closing took place at Century Title & Escrow Services, and the Dooleys claim they were not provided with any disclosures prior to the closing. Spader was the closing agent.

The Dooleys claim when they went to the closing and signed to papers the settlement statement reflected a second mortgage to the seller and the representation of the second mortgage supported the defendant's representations relative to the market value of the home.

According to the suit, the contract price of the home was $89,000. The Dooleys were told the sellers would pay all closing costs.

In October 2009, the Dooleys learned that the market value of the home was only $74,500 and that there was no second mortgage on the home.

The Dooleys fell behind in their payments as a result of loss of income, according to the suit.

The Dooleys are suing for appropriate equitable relief, and actual and punitive damages for unconscionable inducement; fraud; unauthorized practice of law; acceptance of fee contingent on predetermined conclusion; dishonesty, misrepresentation and breach of professional standards, negligence, illegal debt collection; and joint venture, conspiracy and agency. They are being represented by Daniel F. Hedges of Mountain State Justice Inc.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2096

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