Ashok, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

hot to get deposit money back from builder

Asked by Ashok, Fremont, CA Sun Jun 22, 2008

I signed a builder (with a $10000 deposit) in Bay Area for a new house that was under construction, however I have to cancel the purchase due to my job condition (got laid off), now the builder is refusing to refund my deposit.
The agreement says that I will loose my deposit if I cancel the purchase. is there a way I can get my deposit refund?

Help the community by answering this question:


I am in a similar situation. Builder hasn't even be able to get the permit to build the home yet due to the snow storm in Virginia.
Home is going to be built by end of 2010.
We gave a deposit/earnest money of $56,000 to the builder 2 month ago. Now I lost the job in Washington DC area.
We were in the middle of the process of getting the loan approved through the Builders mortgage company. Now they can't even qualify me for the loan.

Builder is asking me to write a hardship letter so that he could talk to the upper management. He rejected my first email stating about my job loss. Should I send a letter by certified mail ?. They are giving me a run around.
Please advice me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 24, 2010
Hi Ashok,

If you don't qualify for the loan, the builder will have to refund your deposit.
Read your contract clause about financing. If the home was under contraction and
during the process you lost your job, they can't keep your deposit.
In purchase of any property

2 parties must qualify
1. Buyer/borrower : for the amount of the loan.
2. Property : for the amount it's being purchase for.( aapraisal amount)

If the property construction is not even completed, City final is not even done, during this if you
loose your job and are not able to quality for the loan, they can't keep your deposit.

Read your contract and take it back to builder again and ask them you show you the clause
under which they are trying to forfeit your deposit.

Best of luck in getting your money back.

Charo Bhatt
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
Frank is correct. While I am in NC not CA your contract should have a clause about you not qualifying for financing. I must ask though where in the timeframe are you? Most contracts have time sensitive dates. So as Frank stated it would be good to consult a real estate attorney as soon as possible. The builder is finishing out the home based on your choices of finishes. So they will be out funds simply if there were any upgrades so the sooner they stop the upfit the better able to negotiate you will be.

Hope this helps,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
My First recomendation in this situation is to inform the builder you no longer qualify for the loan due to a job loss, then secondly consult a real estate attorney providing the contract you signed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
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