Earnest money paid; buyer defaulted; learned money now in unclaimed property; I (seller) want to claim but can't find the buyer.

Asked over 1 year ago - Houston, TX

Nearly 6 yrs ago while trying to sell my home , a buyer put up $ 500 in earnest money w / language in the signed agreement that if a contract isn't given within # # days after we are notified they get financing the earnest money would not be refunded ; they defaulted . The money was held by the title company . My agent sent letters Recently while pursuing Texas Unclaimed Funds , I found the monies and tried to claim it . I sent all my paper work supporting it . But the state won't release it without information from the buyer . I can't find the buyer or her agent . I don't know why the title company turned it over in the first place . My address & contact information hasn't changed & my real estate agent at the time should have been contacted as well . Can I claim the $ $ ; what are my options ?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Teri A. Walter

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . I'm not sure why the funds ended up as unclaimed, but if you have to have the buyer's information to claim the funds, here are some simple things you can do.
    1) run a Google search on the buyer - you'll be surprised at what you can turn up. 2) send a letter to the buyer, at the last address you have, and put on the envelope, under your return address, "Address information requested." 3) check the Harris County clerk's office databases - there may be information in any of them that can help you locate the buyer http://www.cclerk.hctx.net/applications/websearch/ 4) check the Harris County Appraisal Distrist site http://www.hcad.org/Records/, or 5) the agent should be easy to find either on the Houston Association of Realtors site http://www.har.com/ or on the Texas Real Estate Commission site http://www.trec.state.tx.us/. Good luck!

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