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Seller does not want to give our deposit back on a house we did not qualified for. Looking for an attorney. Real Estate.

Naples, FL |

My husband and I signed a contract for a purchase of a house. Per our contract, we had 60 days to either be approved for a mortgage loan or to be denied one, or we would lose our deposit. The Seller, who is a Home Construction Company, offered us a discount if we used their mortgage company.
After 29 days we learned that we did not qualified because of length of employment (my husband and I own our business for less than 1 year).
However, they told us to file 2012 Tax Returns and re-apply, and that would be enough to qualify us. That put the whole process on hold for over 2 months. After we submitted our tax returns we applied again, and were not approved.
Now the seller does not want to give our deposit back, claiming too much time passed.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You entitlement to the return of the deposit will likely depend on the specific language of the sales contract that discusses this. While you have summarized your understanding of what that contractual provision means, the actual language of the document may contain nuances that impact your ability to recover the deposit.

I would suggest that you review the specific language with your attorney, and he or she can advise you on this.

Good luck!

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Posted

"The Deposit shall mean Earnest Money (...). Buyer acknowledges that Seller may require additional Deposit(s) (...) and that such Deposit(s) are non-refundable, except as expressly provided in this Agreement or by APPLICABLE LAW". Doesn't the "applicable law" in Florida says that Buyer is entitled to the return of deposit in case of not being able to obtain a loan within 60 days?

Katy Koestner Esquivel

Katy Koestner Esquivel

Posted

I'm not aware of any law that states that you get the deposit back if you don't qualify. Typically a contingency like that is written into the contract if its part of the agreement. You should contact a real estate attorney to help you determine whether there is a legal basis for recovery of the deposit.

Posted

I agree with Ms. Esquivel. You should take your contract to a real estate lawyer to see if you have any rights to the return of your downpayment.

You might be able to sue the other side for a negligent misrepresentation or detrimental reliance.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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Posted

"The Deposit shall mean Earnest Money (...). Buyer acknowledges that Seller may require additional Deposit(s) (...) and that such Deposit(s) are non-refundable, except as expressly provided in this Agreement or by APPLICABLE LAW". Doesn't the "applicable law" in Florida says that Buyer is entitled to the return of deposit in case of not being able to obtain a loan within 60 days?

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Posted

There is no law that I am aware of that would permit a buyer to breach and then obtain the return of the deposit. You will need legal representation to argue that you did not breach and the failure to meet the deadline was induced by the seller.

Posted

The terms of the contract will need to be reviewed in order to determine whether you can get your deposit back. You may have other claims against the construction company as well. I recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding the particulars of your situation. Many attorneys on here, including myself, offer free initial consultations.

Natalie Guerra-Valdes
(954)764-7878
nvaldes@valdeslawfirmpa.com
www.valdeslawfirmpa.com

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