How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34262
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been paying on a home and have put 50,000.00 down on

Customer Question

I have been paying on a home and have put 50,000.00 down on it as a down payment.
I lost my job about 4 months ago and has been difficult to make the rent payments much less add to the down pYMENT AMOUNT
the owner is saying now he wants me out and I am having to forfeit to him the down payment money which is about 56,500.00 at this point
Is this correct ?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

This is going to depend on what your contract says about what happens in the event of a default..

.

Is the property still in the seller's name?

.

Is this a lease with option to purchase or is it a land contract?

.

Do you have a copy of the contract to see what it says about default?

.

What was the agreed on price of the house?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
still in sellers name
lease with option to purchase , yes
yes, have copy of contract somewhere it is about 3-4 years old though
280,000.00
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Ok, then this is considered an "executory contract" under TX law and you do have certain rights here. An executory contract is any transaction that defers some action by either party that pertains to ownership or possession of real property into the future.

.

This puts a lot of obligations on the seller that you need to go over one by one to see if they complied. A seller improperly engaging in an executory contract incurs not only penalties under the Property Code (e.g., the return by the seller of all payments made by the buyer, including the down payment and monthly payments) but also liability under the Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act (“DTPA”) which can involve treble damages plus attorney’s fees. Even in minor transactions, small numbers can turn into big ones as a result. Note that the Property Code includes no seller defenses – even if the whole arrangement was the buyer’s idea in the first place.

.

These are some of the things that the seller had to do before you even signed the contract:

.

TX Property Code Sections 5.069 and 5.070 contain a number of these requirements, which must be met before the executory contract is signed by the purchaser:

5.069(a) (1) requires that the seller provide the purchaser with a survey which is no older than a year, or a current plat.

5.069(a)(2) requires that the seller provide the purchaser with copies of liens, restrictive covenants, and easements affecting the property.

5.069(a)(3) requires that a “Seller’s Disclosure of Property Condition” be provided by the seller.

5.069(b) states that if the property is not located in a recorded subdivision, then the seller is required to provide a separate disclosure form stating utilities may not be available to the property until the subdivision is recorded.

5.069(c) pertains to advertising the availability of an executory contract. It requires that the advertisement disclose information regarding the availability of water, sewer, and electric service.

5.070(a)(1) requires the seller to provide the purchaser with a tax certificate from the collector for each taxing unit that collects taxes due on the property.

5.070(a)(2) requires the seller to provide the purchaser with a copy of any insurance policy, binder, or evidence that indicates the name of the insurer and insured; a description of the insured property; and the policy amount.

.

.

If the foregoing requirements are not met, failure to do so is defined as “false, misleading, or deceptive act or practice” under the DTPA (Sec. 17.46, Texas Business & Commerce Code); secondly, the purchaser is entitled under Prop. Code Sec. 5.069(d)(2) to “cancel and rescind the executory contract and receive a full refund of all payments made to the seller.” That would include any down payment plus all monthly payments that have been made to date.

.

.

So you need to find your contract, and any paperwork that came with it, and go sit down with a local real estate attorney and have him go over it with you point by point because if the seller didn't do exactly what the law requires them to do, you can get all your money back, attorney fees, and treble damages..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Real Estate Law Questions