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If you don’t win, you don’t pay!!!

Amidst all the crap going on with the bank taking the house and waiting on pins and freaking needles for the real estate agent they assign to call us and tell us what our fate is.. There’s even MORE going on behind the scenes.
It’s not just the house i’m concerned about.. It’s losing my entire downpayment.
Thomas told me, back when our “contract” expired because the (now previous) owner of the house backed out.. to just let the money go. What was left of my inheritance from my Mother.. just walk away. He had convinced himself the contract was iron-clad. I was never sold on that idea. I always thought it was 100% unfair to put money down on a house that now we were unable to buy.. by no fault of our own.

It wasn’t until he spoke with his coworker’s wife, who used to work in foreclosures, about the contract we signed that he started to understand where I was coming from. Something about that contract was fishy. Not to mention the woman who had signed this house OVER to the middle man (same guy who has our money).. got to just walk out of the deal. Why? Because she hired a lawyer, had him look over her contract, and found that it was completely shady, and not legit in the slightest. They couldn’t sue her for the house because they knew they’d lose.
If SHE got out because of shady dealings.. maybe the same goes for us?

A lot of people, when I try to explain the situation, don’t fully understand.. so i’ll try to make it simple and see what you all think (even though I don’t know legalese, or what’s legal to put in a document or what is binding).

We went into this house on a rent to own contract. We didn’t know there was an actual OWNER to the house, we thought the real estate lawyer we went through (the middle man) was the owner. No. There was still a couple who own the house.. who I guess could no longer afford it, and wanted to rent it out and eventually sell to save themselves from foreclosure.
Now, we couldn’t buy the house out right because we didn’t have a large enough down payment at the time, or good enough credit to do so. We knew we’d have money coming soon, but not soon enough to not have to sign another year long lease with our crap hole of a townhouse. We needed out.
So, we signed on for the “land purchase agreement” for this house.. we would pay a certain amount of rent with the promise we’d fulfill a larger down payment when we got it.. and it would keep our rent low. That money, as stipulated in the contract, was ALWAYS intended to go toward the purchase price of the house. It says that MANY times in the contract. The catch was that if WE could not secure financing by the end of the contract (which was this month), we would forfeit the money.

We secured financing.. twice. Both times the owner of the house refused to sell. She didn’t read her end of the contract well enough before signing. She thought she’d make a profit off of the house, the contract (so she says) says she would NOT profit at all. So.. she went to a high powered lawyer.. had him look it over, and he said “DO NOT SELL THROUGH THEM”
The middle man could have sued her for the house.. but once he was threatened by her lawyer, he backed off, because the contract was not legitimate. What was in her contract was not legal.. so the middle man let it go.
The contract expired at the beginning of this month. No purchase of the house ever went through. We had kept up our side of the bargain.. by not only improving our credit, but by securing a mortgage for the house.
We were told by the middle man that we could NOT get our money back. It was his. Period.
As soon as the contract expired was when we found out the house was in foreclosure. Talk about adding insult to injury. So not only did it seem that we lost our entire down payment for NO reason, but we were never going to be able to purchase this house. We’ve been given many reasons for that.. differing on both sides. That doesn’t really matter at this point.. what matters is that IN the contract it states our money was meant to go toward the purchase price of the house. There was no purchase of the house.. and we DID secure financing. So.. considering all that, shouldn’t our money be returned since THEY did not hold up their end of the contract?

The only part that keeps holding us up.. is at the end of the statement about how if we don’t secure financing for the house and bla bla.. it says “OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON” in big bold letters, “The money will become liquidated for damages”
Damages to who? We did everything RIGHT. They did it all wrong. They never put our down payment into an escrow account for the house like they were supposed to. They didn’t sell us the house.. they just let it run out, and took our money.

I have no idea if it’s legal. A HUGE part of me feels like it isn’t. There’s nothing in there about how if THEY don’t go through with the deal.. only US. Everyone I tell this story to says it can’t be legal.. but who knows if his wording in the contract is binding? I don’t know legal terms, I don’t know what’s legal to put in a contract.

To me, the money should come back to us. Period. We didn’t default. We didn’t buy the house.. because we couldn’t, because of THEM.
Perhaps they think we’ll just walk away.. but i’m not willing.

We’ve been trying to find a lawyer for a free consultation all day.. to show them these documents, tell them our story, and see what can be done, if anything. I don’t know that we can AFFORD a lawyer unless they’re only willing to take a payment upon winning the case.. but it will be good to see if that money is legally OURS still. If THEY are in the wrong for keeping it.

My hope is obviously that those people are idiots, and HAVE to give our money back. I hope it doesn’t go to court.. I would hope threatening him with court proceedings not ONLY for the down payment but for all the improvements he told us to make to the house in exchange for money off the purchase price (again, a house we now can not purchase because of THEIR doing) and damages (moving costs, etc), plus being reported to the Bar association (because if we report him, they HAVE to investigate ALL of his transactions. Not good for someone who has been making shady dealings). Maybe with all of those threats.. he’ll settle out of court and give us the money that is rightfully ours.

I might even call the stupid moron who took our money and didn’t pay the mortgage and got this house sent to foreclosure (the previous owner) and get HER contract, since hers was obviously illegal. And if THAT side was illegal, if he could never legally SELL this house in the terms he stipulated.. than the whole thing might be void.

I’m seriously crossing my fingers. We NEED that money back. It’s not fair to put money down on a house and have everyone else back out.. and not get that money back.
I’m bound and determined.
The first lawyer we called, as recommended by a friend, unfortunately only works for landlords and not tenants… so we’re still on the hunt. They recommended someone else so we’ll be calling them tomorrow.

We need prayers, y’all. Ten thousand dollars is NOTHING to turn and walk away from. That is EVERYTHING to us. And after everything we’ve been put through.. and will soon have to go through with having to leave the home we worked so hard for.. something good has to come from it.

What do you think? Anyone know ANYTHING about contract law??


Posted on August 26, 2010 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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1 Comment

  • I know nothing about contract law but it sure sounds shady to me. I really think that finding a good lawyer who knows about these things is the right step here. Hope you’re able to find one who can get all your money back for you.