Now with the deposit, it should said in you contract if they can keep it.
I had a situation last year and my buyer lost her job after getting a 15 day extension on escrow because the bank took more than 45 days, anyways after a week of going back and forth via email with the REO agent, got to a agreement with the buyer and she had to let go $1000 and she got back $2500, she was not happy but she did not lost all of her money.
Please talk to your agent if not his or her broker.
I am not a real estate lawyer and you should talk to one. But if you end up in the court you most likely come up winning. In America no one should be forced to sell their homes and no one should be forced to buy one either. And my opinion the judge will feel the same. You have a good reason. You seek the help of a lawyer if you need to and please let me know the outcome. I strongly believe I am correct!
Prudential California Realty
Where is your Realtor? Is he or she helping you or giving you any advise? I question signing away all your contingencies.
The law is, if you signed the liquidated damages, portion of your contract, and you breach the contract, which it sounds like you did, the seller is entitled to up to 3% of the bid for the property, but the seller must prove that they were damaged to that amount.
Did you sign the arbitration clause in your contract? This may have to go to arbitration.
I assume the $19,000 is being held in escrow. They will not release it without agreed upon instructions from both sides.
In short, the seller does not just get the money. They have to prove that they were damaged somehow.
Where is your Realtor?