Then look to see if there is any wording that says, something like" if buyer or seller has not ..... (fulfilled the required action) either buyer or seller may cancel the contract and all deposit money will be returned to the buyer with no further obligation." If you find something like this take your notes and your contract to a real estate lawyer and ask the best way to protect yourself. Remember you not only want out of the contract you want a return your deposit money. Of course the best time to consult a lawyer to review a contract is before you sign it, but they are the experts in helping you find a remedy. If it has only been a month, you may be just getting impatient. Remember short sales take a long time. If the bank has not received all the required documents it won't review the the package. Call the listing agent and try to get an update on where they are in the process. Good luck!
If you did not have an attorney representing your interests, you need one now.
30 days with nothing from the bank is not unusual. I've done many short sales taking anywhere from 60 days to 2.5 years! I've represented sellers where we had 4 contractual buyers come and go because their attorneys protected them from just this circumstance.
Get an attorney, or contact yours if you want out. I cannot advise you whether or not you will be able to be released since I am not an attorney and have no idea what your contract states.
First of all, was the contract reviewed by both the sellers attorney AND your attorney? Attorney review really has nothing to do with the bank and the short sale process, it's more to make contractual changes to protect the buyer and sellers as far as contractual obligations (ie: the buyer is responsible for all necessary municipal certificates or the seller is doing no repairs etc). Once all these contractual changes are made and both sides agree, attorney review is concluded.
This still has NOTHING to do with the bank and how they process or review your contract and approve a short sale. Two separate processes.
Second, how can you be sure the bank HASN'T looked at the contract? They may be in the process reviewing not only your offer price and terms, but the sellers short sale packet (with all their financial information) to determine if your offer, and subsequent shorfall of proceeds, is acceptable to the investors who need to get paid something.
Speak to your attorney about where you are in the process. It's conceivable that you can just rescind your offer since you haven't heard a word from the bank. I will tell you that I have a contract for one of my short sales that took from October, when seller signed contract and we submitted the short sale packet, till mid-January when the bank finally approved the short sale and then gave us 45 days to close.
It's always tough to put an "on or before..." closing date on a short sale contract because we have no way of knowing when (or IF) the bank will approve it, but there should have been something in there. If not, check with your attorney, there may be an addendum that says if the short sale is not approved by X date, or we don't close by X date, you can recind your offer.
I posted this link in the answer to your other question, but I will incude it again. It's a blog about the short sale process.
Hope this helps