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I entered a contract with a loan broker to assist me in

Hi, I entered a...

Hi, I entered a contract with a loan broker to assist me in getting an SBA loan for contruction/business start-up. We paid $1250 which was 50 percent of his due diligence fee. The other 50% was due upon our signing of the banks "commitment letter". There was also a clause that said we would owe 1% of the loan amount if we backed out after signing the commitment letter. The only letter we ever signed from a bank was to get the appraisal, and it specifically stated that it was not a commitment letter. After the appraisal came in, we were feeling like we were not going to get the loan, and the bank did not respond to my e-mail, so we moved on with other plans for the property. 2 1/2 monthes later the bank contacted us wondering if we were still moving forward. I said we were not, and now the broker is coming after us for the full amount, including the 1%. Seems like I don't owe him anything since we never signed a commitment letter, but I fear he is going to pursue arbitration on this which will require I travel to Texas to fight it.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not that I am aware of.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No really, I do have copies of the contract and the letter from the bank.

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Answered in 29 minutes by:
8/15/2017
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Arbitration can be conducted over the phone via a "telephonic appearance" - please see here

If the contract required an actual commitment letter before additional fees are due, then that would require an actual commitment letter.

There is a legal doctrine called "in contra proferentem" which means that if the contract is vague or ambiguous, it is construed against the drafter of the document (since they created the issue).

Otherwise the contract is strictly interpeted and any "conditions precedent" (prerequisites) must be fulfilled before the other party's obligation matures.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Can I paste the actual paragraphs in question here for you to give me your opinion on whether or not they are ambiguous?

Unfortunately document review is a premium service that I don't participate in.

If the contract clearly states that the actual commitment letter must be executed before commission is earned, then if that triggering event does not happen, the obligation to pay does not apply.

If the contract is vague so that the parties cannot tell what their obligations are or when these obligations take effect then that is when the mentioned legal document can be argued as a defense if the other party tries to claim enforcement. The idea is whether a reasonable person, looking at the 4 corners of the contract, can determine what the parties' obligations are, when these come into effect, and what the remedy would be in the event of breach.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
OK Thanks, ***** ***** know how I might use that premium service of document review?

Unfortunately no; I am an individual contributor so I don't have access to your page. You can contact customer service at ww2.justanswer.com/help

There should be a button that requests it I believe, but I have not used the site as a consumer (yet!)

legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,973
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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legalgems and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks.

You are most welcome;

thank you and take care.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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