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That was her understanding; but it was communicated via email. We have the emails, but no way of knowing if he signed it, then tore it up, or never signed it. She also has no contract copy and did not initial off on the finance date change that he apparently asked for or wrote on the contract after she signed it.
Since there is evidence that the seller agreed to cancel the contract, as is evidenced in the emails, the seller cannot just rip up the agreement as if it never happened. Further, if the seller made unilateral changes to the contract that you mother did not initial the changes are not valid. Your mom does not owe him anything on a canceled contract unless she agreed in the cancellation document to pay certain charges contained with the cancellation form.
The contract also provides for other ways for a purchaser to cancel a contract.
Can you ask the Realtor to email you a copy so you can have peace of mind?
Does it matter if the email is from mom's agent (who spoke to the seller's agent for confirmation of release by the seller from the contract). We will definitely get a copy of the contract (the property is several hours away from mom's house).
She is also concerned that if she is forced to apply for a loan, it may be approved because she has about $9000 dollars which belong to my brother, in an apparently joint student checking account. She is wondering if she should try to move that money out of her name, but doesn't know how to prove that it is my brother's money. (Perhaps you can't answer that at all though.)