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A release of escrow funds if both parties are on a release if one party demanding the release wants to be held harmless .

Jersey City, NJ |

Is that a valid agreement if one party asks to be released from any and all claims and rights. If the both parties sign it. The other party is not asking for any claims or demands. Will that make it a valid contract between parties. Or can the one party not asking for anything reopen the claim later on. Would that not complete the agreement.

This was regarding a real estate sale with tenants in common funds being held by my siblings attorney. He is asking for the release with those conditions for me not to sue his client or he will not release the funds. Can I make a demand asking him why do we need any terms in the release at all. Can I also tell him to release the funds within a certain time frame in writing. He also wants to be put in the release that he will not have any claims against him for the holding and disbursing the funds

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You indicate you are a co-tenant/seller with a sibling. Most escrows are held at the request of the buyer or buyer's title company pending payment of all estate taxes and/or the water & sewer bill, etc. It is unclear why your funds were placed into escrow, unless you really mean the attorney acted as your agent and the funds were placed into his attorney escrow account to be divided between you and your sibling.

I can well understand why the attorney would want to receive a release. As to your sibling, it is not uncommon in a release, to waive any and all claims now existing, whether known or unknown. You certainly have a right, although there seems no reason for you have done something to arise to a claim from the brief facts stated, for your sibling to provide a similar release and waiver of any and claims to you.

Without additional information, it is difficult to provide concrete advice. You need to consult an attorney. There are plenty in Jersey City, where I started my law career, or you can contact me at 973-994-9080.

The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.


As a co-owner, you do not have to sign a release of claims to get funds from a real estate transaction.

They are using the money as leverage.

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.



It also states that my siblings attorney to be released from any and all claims as well arising solely out of holding and and disbursement of the escrow funds. Can I demand the money to be released. I should receiving more of the proceeds we have agreed on in writing for additional expenses I have incurred. He has been holding the funds since December 2012 and has been stalling for the last 60 days in addition.

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar


Language releasing the escrow agent from liability for holding and disbursing the escrow is pretty standard. But, he should have requested the release when he offered to be the escrow agent. He cannot unilaterally impose the release now. However, if the release as to the escrow agent relates only to holding and releasing the money, then there should not be an issue unless you are asserting that he has wrongfully witheld the money, did not disburse it correctly or misapropriated funds.



Do I need to sign the release if I had been asking him why he has not contacting me with letters in writing. He then verified to funds. I do believe they were misapropriated. But if so or not do I have to sign to release. Or can I send a demand to release the funds immediately. Would that help? I did not make any statements besides to verify the funds. He also had a difficult time giving that for at least a month or so later It was just the front of a check from another attorney that was holding the proceeds . He also said my sibling wants to be released from any and all claims from the sale as well. This does not make sense if everything was done correctly. I have been waiting for sometime. He asked for a general release. I gave it to him and he said he wanted those items to be added in order to release the funds.

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