Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

Pou, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Have paid full amount to escrow. Seller cancels at last second. Now seller won't cooperate to sign escrow cancellation. How do I get my money?

Asked by Pou, Los Angeles, CA Fri Apr 8, 2011

back? In addition to earnest money, I have paid the full purchase price to the Escrow and was to close escrow on April 9. Escrow Company has transferred the funds to the Title Company but at last second needed to put it on hold because the Seller decides at the last second she wants to cancel the sale and declare bankruptcy. I want to get my full money back but am told I need Seller to also agree to any cancellation of Escrow. Seller is unreachable and may be unwilling to cancel. I've fulfilled my entire end of the bargain and the Seller is now failing to cooperate. At this point, I just want to get my money back but it seems she's just stalling. What to do?

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Dear Pou,

How dreadful. And for your transaction to go to that extent and be pulled. Wow. I wonder if you could sue her for specific performance. If it is a short sale purchase you would not be able to sue her but if it were a standard sale I'm thinking that you could - if you wanted to of course.

You are absolutely entitled to your money back plus a $1,000 penalty if she does not willingly sign the mutual agreement that escrow needs to release funds (not that is enough money for all your trouble). You need to file a civil action in court right away mandating that she sign the release. You need a court order from a judge so that escrow can release your money. Don't delay. All court fees shall be burdened by the seller when it's all said and done.

I'm not an attorney. This information is only my opinion based on personal experience. Hire an attorney right away and get your money without any further delay.

Good luck!

Diane Wheatley, Broker
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 10, 2011
Your buyers agent needs to assist you with all your questions. All is governed by the executed sales agreement
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 10, 2011
It sounds like you may be purchasing a short sale. You will need to read your contract and all the addenda. Get both Brokers involved and talk with a real estate attorney.

This is a sticky situation.

All the best that it turns out well for you.
Web Reference: http://terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
You may have to get a court order to get your funds back.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
Please don't mistake the following comments for legal advice--it's not.

Diane is correct: you might be able to sue for specific performance or to get your money back. Yet, if you opted to pursue your claim, then the bankruptcy judge handling that case might render it null and void. However, you still might be able to get the property anyway in time if your seller's lender can get that property exempted from the bankruptcy estate, or if that seller gets kicked out of bankruptcy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 10, 2011
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