Real Estate Expert Witness Services

Eric Forster is the Managing Principal of Forster Realty Advisors. With more than 35 years in the industry, he has become a recognized expert  in the areas of real estate and mortgage fraud, brokerage standards and practices, RESPA, TILA and HOEPA violations, as well as escrow practices . He has served as a special master of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in a muti-victim mortgage fraud case, and is the Co-Chair of the Real Estate Experts subcommittee of the American Bar Association.

In addition, Eric is active in ADR (alternative dispute resolution) and has mediated real estate civil cases for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has arbitrated civil claims for The New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Eric is the author of the Mortgage Applicant's Bible, a mortgage primer, as well as numerous trade articles. 

 

 

 
 

  Business/Economics Education:

University of London, City School of Law, LLM (International business arbitration)
Pepperdine University Graziano Graduate School of Business, MBA (Thesis: The economics of enterprise IT conversion)
Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management (Graduate certificate in Economics and business strategies)

Business/Economics Certifications: 

Certified Master Analyst in Financial Forensics, NACVA,  MAFF (With a specialty in commercial real estate damages and lost profits)

ADR:

Harvard Law School (PON), Advanced training in negotiations
American Arbitration Association, Arbitration I and II
UCLA , Advanced mediation training
GTF, D. Med., Mediation ethics

Professional Associations
  • American Bar Association (Chair, Real Estate Experts Subcommittee, 2009-2012)
  • California State Bar (Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration, Public Member, 2011-2012)
  • National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
  • American Real Estate and Urban Economic Association
  • American Arbitration Association (Real Estate panel)
  • Board of Arbitrators, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Arbitrator No. A55740)
  • Board of Arbitrators, National Futures Association (Arbitrator No. 0412838)
  • Mediation panel (Real Estate panel), Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Institute of Forensic Science and Public Policy - AJS
  • Beverly Hills/Los Angeles Association of Realtors

 

Sample Cases:

Standard of Care (for Defendant): Plaintiff purchased an interest in a trust deed, having relied on an obsolete appraisal of the property. That appraisal had been done when the market was trending up, and was used by the Plaintiff even though the market was already trending down at the time of the purchase. The Judge agreed with us that the Plaintiff did not do proper due diligence when the purchased the trust deed, and gave the verdict to the defense. (Stuart et al. v. Gary H. Kent, Inc.).

RESPA Violations:  Assisted Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against RealtySouth, a subsidiary of the second-largest realty in the US and an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. The case concerned a certain administrative charge collected by RealtySouth on federally-related transactions and which was deemed to be a RESPA violation (Busby v. RealtySouth).

Standards & Practices of Settlement Agent:  Assisted Plaintiff, a savings bank, in a case in which the settlement agent, a subsidiary of a title insurance company, aided and abetted a condo converter in defrauding the bank by using straw men as buyers. (Confidential settlement.)

Fraud: Assisted the defense in assessing the scope of a large mortgage-lending Ponzi scheme, and was subsequently hired by the court as the court's expert (People v. Wilson).

Standard of Care (for Plaintiff): Plaintiff-Borrower sued both lender and mortgage broker for approving a loan for which Plaintiff was clearly not qualified and which ended in default. (Sahle v. Allstate Mortgage).

Fraud (for Plaintiff): Plaintiff lent money to a friend for a down payment on a home purchase, to be repaid in 3 years. The lender required it to be a gift and not a loan, and Plaintiff agreed to sign a bank form to that effect. Defendant relied on that form in refusing to pay back the loan. (Lit. Con) 

Fraud (for Defendant): Lenders evaluation of income shown on loan application in stated income loans, where income documentation is not required. Is the income shown on the application the projected income for the
coming year, or must it reflect last year’s income? (U.S. v. Daoudi)

Standard of care (for Plaintiff): Plaintiff purchased a home using the services of a realtor, who referred Plaintiff to a mortgage broker to arrange for a mortgage. After the closing, Plaintiff discovered that the terms of the loan had been misrepresented, and that mortgage broker and realtor failed to disclose that mortgage broker was an
employee of the realtor. (Lit. Con)

Standard of care/Fraud (for Defendant): Defendant (mortgage broker) used the same appraiser for many of his loans. Plaintiff (lender) claimed that it was the Defendants duty to personally inspect the comps used by the
appraiser in arriving at his valuations, and confirm their validity (Lit. Con).

Standard of care (for Plaintiff): Plaintiff purchased a home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Five years later, Defendant (lender) notified Plaintiff that her loan would revert to an adjustable loan since the fixed period was for
five years only. Lender could not document the reasons for using the wrong trust deed forms (Lit Con).

 

 

 
Awards & Honors
  • Recognition for Excellence - California state Senate
  • Certificate of Appreciation - Los Angeles City Attorney