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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26352
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I had a contract to purchase a home in Florida in mid 2013.

Customer Question

I had a contract to purchase a home in Florida in mid 2013 . The home did not pass the inspections . I used the termination clause ( if any major component fails inspection the buyer may terminate with full refund of deposit ). The seller refuses to sign the release of my funds . The title co. Is holding my $5000 and will not release unless the seller signs off .
Is the title go. Liable because the contract states if there is s dispute the funds must be released to my agent until dispute is resolved . The title co. Refused to release funds .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good evening. Do you know why the seller is refusing to release the funds? I am asking because if you were able to terminate the contract, what grounds do they have to keep it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No.It is a Fannie Mae propertyu.The contracted clearly stated that the buyer has the right to terminate the contract right up to the ,day of closing if the home has code violations.Pal home inspection wrote it up for multiple violations.Electrical code violations being the one used for termination.It also had Electrical/HVAC/Water ,and structural violations as well.
The Title company tells me that they can only release the funds with both parties written approval.
Actually the contact included an agreement by the seller to cooperate with a 1031 exchange.They agreed to accept participation in the 1031 transaction.The 1031 documents they requested to look over(prior to agreeing to accept ) clearly state that if a disagreement arises on the contract that the 1031 Agent will hold the funds that artdisputed until a resolution is reached.The title co. refused in writing, to myself and my Agent to comply .
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. If you and the seller have an agreement and language stated within that agreement, that the money will be released and turned over to your Agent, then that needs to be done. While the title company is holding it, BOTH parties have already agreed to release it to your agent in the event of dispute, so the title company should request and receive a release, advising of the same. I can understand them holding it to protect their own interest if there is a dispute and not turn it over to either party but here, there is an agreement to do something specific, so they should comply. If they are not, then you would have to go after them but prior to, should make one more good faith attempt to present to them a signed document, by you and the seller, referencing the agreement to do this and showing them that it was agreed to and you consent to it now. If not, then you would need to go after them for the release.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Title Co. is strongly refusing to release the funds.My representing real estate agent sent them a request stating those exact facts ,they refused.I contacted them and pointed out that the seller was bound to comply with the 1031 lanquage. They refused to comply without the sellers signature.The 1031 has been closed now and the 1031 representative has closed the account .I dont know if the funds could still be given to him or not .I understood that after a certain period of time that the title co. had to turn those funds into the court to hold pending resolution.I thought i saw that in the Fl. Statutes .
I plan on sending the title co. a certified letter asking them to release the funds.What i am wondering is if i can name them in a court action to recover the funds.They told me that I cannot sue them or take action against them in this situation.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Is the seller willing to sign a document releasing the funds and having them turned over to the Agent? I ask this because you shared above that they want the sellers signature, so if you present them with something that has it and asking them to do this, with both parties agreeing, they should have no problem releasing it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seller refuses to sign because they said I broke the contract . I did not . The contract had a clause up to date of closing that released me if it failed inspections . It did and I refused to purchase .
The title co, is the one who is not abiding by the contract for refusing to release the funds .
I need to take specific action against them to recover . I'm trying to find out how I can get the title co. To abide by the terms of the contract and release my funds .
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

At this point, you need to go after and sue the seller. You need to ask, as a remedy, that they sign the requested documents to release the funds and essentially have them returned to you, since you have a legal basis to back out. The title company does not have a problem releasing anything BUT they need to sellers signature. The agreement is between you and the seller, as they have no obligation to comply with it, since they were never involved. They are doing what they are required to do and not release the money until agreed upon, so the seller is who you needs to go after, since they are breaking the contract and not allowing the money to be turned over.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok . Thank you . It's Fannie Mae and the real estate agent says they will stonewall forever. He's says people have sued them and they drag it out until the people just give up .
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, he is likely right and that it will be dragged out litigation. That is why it would be easier to go after the seller at this point, under the contract. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. Thank you.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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