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No. I'm afraid that a court will not permit return of the downpayment. The 1,000 amount is what we call "liquidated damages" in case of breach of contract from the day of the contract with the downpayment FORWARD as you continue to pay. In other words, instead of the seller being able to prove his actual damages as allowed by law, it was agreed that he would just get 1,000. It does not mean you can get the 15K back.
OH you didn't tell me the whole clause. GREAT!
Write a letter saying you cannot complete the deal and ask for $14,000. Except the wording of the clause is a bit contradictory. It should say "pay 1,000 EXCEPT .................WILL BE REFUNDED. I don't like the words "in additon to"
When you write the letter, say "Please remit within seven (7) days from your receipt hereof." If he doesn't pay......you'll need to see a lawyer.
Thanks for your confidence but I am NY attorney only.
Don't know the exact calendar backlog in NJ, if any, but count on up to a year. I'm a trial lawyer and in NYC it's much worse :-(