A case of forgery

Q: "I just got a very disturbing call from a lender. They wanted to ask me a question about how I arrived at the square footage in a report I did about 2 years ago. When he gave me the address of the property, it did not sound familiar. When I went to look for the report, I found nothing. I asked him to fax me a copy. The report I got had what seemed to be my signature, but it was not in my handwriting. I told the lender that I had not done the report and that it was a forgery. I think that a trainee I had helping out at that time might have forged my name. What if that is not the only report he did this to? What should I do now?"

A: You may be right and you could be the victim of a forgery. You mentioned that you told the lender you did not do the report. The first thing you need to do is to put that in writing. Tell the lender that you did not do the appraisal and that you take no responsibility for its contents. You should also report the matter to local law enforcement. They will probably do nothing about it after they take your report. At least you have a record of making the report in case other forgeries come to light in the future. You should be careful about accusing your former trainee, unless you have clear evidence that he or she did this. The last thing you need is to be faced with a slander or libel action from them if it turns out that they were not the culprit.

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