Can seller keep deposit if I cancel transaction given loan contingency was not removed?

Asked by Frustratedbuyer, 90638 Thu Apr 29, 2010

Its a standard 17 day loan contingency but I coudn't get a loan for some reason. Loan contingency was never removed. Seller don't want to waive the per diem charges. So I decided not to go with transaction. My realtor submitted Cancellation paperwork on last day with my signatures to escrow and seller's realtor.

My realtor is saying that the seller can still fight for the deposit and we may end up going to small claims court to get he desposit back. Is that true? I thought If we submit the cancellation paperwork before loan contingency expiration, then I will get my deposit back without any question. Why would seller give me hard time to claim my own money?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Keith Manson- Metro Milwaukee Wisconsin’s answer
Keith Manson-…, , Milwaukee, WI
Fri Apr 30, 2010
It all depends on the contract, the deadlines outlined in the contract and the parties involved. The real estate agents can not release the earnest money until both parties sign the cancelation and release of earnest money document. If one of the parties thinks the contractal duties were met, they can try to keep the earnest money and or sue for specific performance. This all actions that need to be addressed by attorney's or is small claims court if it can not be worked out with buyer and seller.

Good Luck
Keith Manson
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert

Metro Milwaukee
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Apr 30, 2010
Much will depend on what your contract states--and you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, see exactly what options you may have--most professionals do offer a free consultation.
0 votes
Monique & Joe…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Apr 30, 2010
Hello Frustrated Buyer,

It's difficult to give you an answer without knowing the terms of your contract. You mention a per diem so I'm assuming this may be an REO. Many REOs have passive contingency periods (meaning the time is up on them even if you don't remove them in writing). Please confirm with your agent if this was a passive or active contingency. If it was an active then you should be ok.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Thu Apr 29, 2010
I recommend that you consult with an attorney over this matter. If the seller is not agreeing to refund your deposit and you believe that it should be refunded, then the parties are at an impasse.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Apr 29, 2010
You are asking a legal question that depends on details we don't have access to. Start with your agent, if you are not satisfied with the answers go to their broker. If you still don't have a straight answer I would collect all the papers you signed in relation to this purchase and sit down with a Real Estate Attorney.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more