The attorney is acting as an escrow agent. He or she cannot release the money unless both parties agree to the release. If the sellers refuse to release the money, then the attorney must hold the money until the dispute is resolved - or he or she may deposit the funds into court once a court action is initiated.
You should speak to your real estate attorney about what your options are.
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.Ask a similar question
I doubt NY law allows real estate actions to be brought in Small Claims court.
Check your purchase contract, which should provide a dispute resolution provision for this type of situation. You'll need to adhere to the terms of the contract you signed.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.Ask a similar question
Small Claims Court in New York City for example has monetary jurisdiction up to $5,000 however before you jump the gun you should be confident that you are right and entitled to the return of the escrow money because if you have a weak case and go it alone without proper legal representation you not only risk losing but your damages could compound themselves in a counter-claim.Ask a similar question
You probably can't sue the escrow agent unless he misused the money or lost it. Check the escrow provisions of your contract
This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and delete this e-mail and all copies and attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. IRS Circular 230 Notice: Unless specifically stated otherwise, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed to be legal or tax advice, and no attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to have been created.Ask a similar question
The contract of sale usually contains a clause insulating the escrow gent from being named in an action to recover the down payment. Generally if a dispute arises the escrow agent will have the option to deposit to money with the court and be done. So unless as mr chertock says the escrow agent acted improperly he or she cannot be sued.
When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on NY law as I am licensed in NY. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.Ask a similar question
You should review your contract with your lawyer. Assuming your interpretation is right that you are entitled to a refund, you could sue for a refund in small claims court. The escrow agent, in this case, apparently the seller's attorney, is a necessary party to that lawsuit.
My answer to your question is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship,Ask a similar question
Small Claims Court is not likely your best option. If you are simply suing the Seller for money and the sum is less than $5,000, you can attempt to bring the action in Small Claims BUT if the money is being held in escrow and you are seeking the Court's determination as to whom is rightfully entitled to the money in escrow, the action likely sounds in equity and law and should not, properly, be brought in Small Claims Court.
In the past, I have named the Seller and the attorney, nominally, (e.g. "John Smith, Esq., as Escrow Agent") to get jurisdiction over the attorney, so that the Court can direct the attorney where to dispose of the money.
The determining factor, for me, would be how much money is in dispute, what the money is being held for and what the nature of your claim is.Ask a similar question