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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I entered into a lease option t buy last december. I was

Customer Question

I entered into a lease option t buy last december. I was trying to purchase it V.A. for 249,000 but the lender always had a reason it would go thru. The agreement I signed was I would lease the house for 1750 a month and if the loan didn't fund by June 30th the price for the home would increase to 259,000. I also had to give the seller 8900.00 plus 1750 up front that was supposed to go into what they called an escrow account. For some reason after 3 months I was told I had to sign an amendment to ezxtend the escrow and also had to place another 5,000 into the escrow account. This happened 2 more times I did this with the understanding i would receive the funds back on closing. The monthly lease was to go towards the cost of the loan which I understood that meant is if I closed at 249,000 the monthly payments I had made on the lease would be deducted from that so I would be getting a loan for 249,000 minus the months I had paid the lease. The 5,000 I had to place into the escrow account every 3 months was called good faith funds. I don't understand the mortage process and because relied on the real estate to ensure everything was correct I did what i was told I had to do. This went on until October 28th this year when I was told escrow was closing i had to sign all the docs and that was it. They sent a notory to my office with the docs but to my suprise no one else came who could tell me what I was signing, I was told they had to be signed asap or it would have to start all over. I have so much money into this I couldn't afford to go thru it again. I finally got someone to look at the docs later after they were signed and found I was totally lied to. None of the lease money went towards the loan and all the other aproximately 23,000 was gone also. The loan amount instead of being 259,000 was raised to either 265,000 or 283,000 I can't figure it out. But I do know I lost all the funds I was told I had to put into escrow or lose the house. The checks I wrote each time was immmediately deposited into an account the seller had it was an account under his name but with LLC after it. He is also a real estate agent and has his own office my agent works for the same company Century 21 but out of a different office. I am devastated i used all the funds I had believing I was to get it back but I was lied to and don't know what to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thank you for contacting me. My name is***** am a consultant here and I am looking forward to assisting you with your question. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Please be patient as I will be typing my responses to you from scratch. Also, I can only answer/address the questions you ask specifically based on the information your provide. Please try to provide as much information as possible so I can best assist you.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a purchase agreement to purchase a home for 249,000 last November 2014, I went for a VA loan and while the loan was being processed I had the option to lease it which I did, the lease was for 1 year with the monthly lease being applied toward the mortage. If the loan didnot close by June 30 2014 then the loan amount was to increase to 259,000. Because i leased it during the loan process I waas told I had to place 8,000 into an escrow account and I also had to pay 1750.00 upfront deposit for the lease. I paid 1750.00 a month for the lease and for some reason every 3 months I had to pay an additional 5,000 that was called good faith money that was supposed to be placed into the escrow account. All together I paid 11 months 1750.00 for the lease 15,000 total for the 3 times I was charged 5000.00 The VA approved the loan in Feb. I was never informed of this instead I spent 11 months compling with everything the lender asked for, I had to send them my paystub every two weeks and copies of my bank statements monthly, The process dragged on an on and when it went beyond the June 30 date the loan amount increased to the agreed upon price of 259,000. I was always put into a high pressure situation where I had to sign escrow extentions or I was told the seller would cancel the whole deal including the lease agreement, I only had so much money to start with and I couldn't afford to lose the funds I put into escrow so I had no choice but to continue. The escrow finally closed on Oct. 28th 1 day before I would have had to pay 1750 for another months lease and 5,000 for another extension. No one was present during the signing only the notorary who could explain the loan only tell me where i had to sign. If I didn't sign the escrow papers that morning I was told the whole process would have to start over. I wasn't able to sit and read every document until late that night after work, I discovered that none of the lease paymernts went toward the loan and that the loan amount had been increased so that the 15,000 and the 8,100 were covered. I ended up with a 283,000 loan when it was to be 259,000 with all the money I had invested to date being returned and the monthly lease being applied toward the 259,000. The amount of the mortgage is different depending on which document you look at on 1 it shows it as 265,000 another shows it as 273,000 and another shows it as 283,000. The seller is a Century 21 agent with his own office in Rosamond, the agent I went thru is a Century 21 agent out of an office in Palmdale. The listing agent works for the seller out of his office. I cannot afford to lose all that money, I was constantly pressed to sign extensions asap. I am not familiar with real estate I relied on my agent to ensure everything went as it should. I need help getting back the funds that were literally stolen from me I worked hard for what I had and that money was for other purposes. They knew how much I had and milked me for almost every dime before they finally decided to close, My agent had made a remark earlier on that there had been a previous buyer for the home who also leased it during the escrow process but after leasing it for a few months they could they were unable to qualify and had to cancel the escrow they apparently lost everything they had invested also.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

I can only give you so much advice without seeing the documentation that is relevant to the issue.

That being said, there are a few things that you can do:

1. Report the realtor to the California Bureau of Real Estate at: http://www.dre.ca.gov/. You can file a complaint against the realtor.

2. Depending on the language of the contract you signed, you may be able to sue them for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, fraud, misrepresentation, etc.

This is not something that you will be able to do on your own. Despite what the other attorney said, I would strongly recommend that you seek a second and third opinion. This sounds like it wasn't exactly handled in an above-board fashion.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will call you tomorrow
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I will wait for your call.