Wow, this is like "crossing the border" into a state of confusion!
Clearly, there are details not being shared; and as such, I'll pass on adding to the "clarification question count" and defer to the advice already proposed - talk to your Agent and if you cannot get a clear answer from them ask to speak with their Broker!
CA SB 221 (law as of 1/1/12) increased the Small Claims Court jurisdictional limit from $7,500 to $10,000 with two caveats: A) The jurisdictional limit of the Small Claims Court will remain $7,500 for claims of bodily injury resulting from a car accident if the defendant in the action is insured and the insuredâ€™s policy includes a duty to defend, and B) The Small Claims jurisdictional limit will remain $5,000 for suits brought by entities such as corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and the like.
Small claims limit is $7,500.
Arbitration and mediation clauses in the California contract make an exception for â€œa matter that is within the jurisdiction of a probate, small claims or bankruptcy court.â€
You can do an internet search for â€œOakland Ca. small claims courtâ€ and you can find a great deal of information about small claims in Oakland including phone number to call.
I hope that you, through your agent, have told the seller that then can be expected to be held personally liable for the additional charges if the delay is their fault.
Being charged a per dime is probably from an REO purchase. Your legal questions as to where to file suit would be best answered by a lawyer. You may have signed the arbitration clause. Pls. consult with the agent you worked with, and the escrow / tile company.
Your agent can give you a form called "demand to close escrow." Talk to your agent's broker, and see if you can get to the legal counsel of the brokerage. If you are not using an agent with a major brokerage (who would provide expert direction and instruction regarding your rights - - a very good reason it is worth paying a 1/2% more in commission for this kind of help!) then I would think it is definitely worth a consultation with a laywer who SPECIALIZES in real estate law. If your agent doesn't know any lawyers who specialize in this, I have 2 good local attorneys. (yes - local property, local courts, regardless of where the seller is...) Once it closes, it seems to me that small claims court will be the only recourse, and once it closes, your agent no longer represents you. You will be on your own.
From what you described, the seller is the one who is holding things up.
Please tell me you have a Realtor! You didn't just buy your first home without one???(:(). If you don't have an agent, please consult with a real estate attorney and together review the terms of your contract. From this post, there are just a number of things that don't make sense.
I believe there's a Notice to Seller to Perform and Demand to Close Escrow forms. Hoping you have a realtor representing you. If so, have your realtor and your broker jump in to make this happen.
If you've signed your papers, how could you be charged $200 per diem?
Who is charging you; the Title Company?
Have you talked to the Title Officer?
Don't you have a Realtor representing you?
Yes, it sounds like Small Claims Court may be righteous, but,
Did you agree to Arbitration/Mediation?
Good luck and may God bless