We have noticed an increase in a practice, that if not done with full and proper disclosure, could lead to substantial trouble for the parties involved, including civil liability, license forfeiture, or worse yet, criminal sanctions. The practice involves changing and/or substituting pages to a fully executed contract.
While we recognize the reality that in many cases, doing so is simply easier than having the parties re-execute or re-initial the full document, such a practice can be very dangerous. And yes, there are individuals who are currently serving time in federal prison for doing so improperly.
While we strongly discourage the practice, if you must substitute pages to a fully executed and initialed contract, you should only do so only with the WRITTEN permission from ALL parties to the contract. If you do not get adequate written proof of such authorization, then (a) the contract could be rendered invalid and unenforceable, and (b) the party who performed the substitution runs the risk of being accused of forgery and/or fraud by an aggrieved party to the contract.
As always, if you have any questions about the proper way to effect changes to a fully executed contract, we strongly advise you to first consult with a real estate lawyer.
This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.
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