Standard California Association of Realtor (C.A.R.) purchase contracts, by default, give a buyer 17 days to release an appraisal contingency. That time frame can be extended or shortened in the contract. At the end of that time, if the buyer has not signed a release of contingencies, the seller can cancel the contract, after delivering to the buyer a Request for Buyer to Perform, giving the buyer 24 to 72 hours, typically, to perform.
Buyers have options if a low appraisal was received.... more
I agree with David Pauley. A team approach is warranted. One of my team is an attorney specializing in both real estate and certain bankruptcies; another member is a 2nd attorney for other bankruptcies, depending on complexity. I have a client who 3 weeks ago was able to obtain a $250,000 loan within 2 years of suffering a Ch 11 converted to Ch 7, $6,000,000 bankruptcy. This requires a specialised lender (NOT a hard money lender!). Depending on your situation, I also have an investor who may be prepared to buy a house for you to sell back to you, though there are certain distinct disadvantages to this arrangement. Each situation is unique, and it will all turn on the details. Fortunately it appears that you have many possible paths.