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What is the name of your state? MD/PA

We sold a house in PA and now live in MD.

The first supposed buyer of our home in PA broke the contract. The disputew as over the removal of asbestos in our basement. It was in our contract to have the asbestos removed, but through a verbal agreement that was passed through our realitors, we believed it was okay to complete the process by containment.

She demanded that we have the asbestos removed by the abatement company of her choice. We agreed.

The day before settlement, she claimed that by using the containment proceedure, we somehow contaminated the whole house and she wanted the house hepa-vacced and all of the carpets replaced.

We refused-- this was not a part of the contract and a considerable cost to us.
We had met all of our responsibilities as a part of the contract.

Even if there was contamination, how could she prove that it was done by us and not the men who removed the asbestos?

The day before settlement, she had a letter drawn up by a lawyer stating that she would sue if we did not give her the money.

At settlement, she refused to settle, and demanded not only her deposit money back ($1000) but also all of her costs ($700) She threatened to sue us and put a lien on our house if we did not give her all of her demands. We told her to feel free to sue us.

Months later, we sold the house to another buyer. The original buyer was silent for months. She then asked for her deposit money back. We responded that we would split it $700/$300.

Upon hearing our offer (generous, considering she broke the contract) she responded that she would not give us one penny. She threatened to go to the house and tell the new owners about the asbestos. This was an empty threat considering that we had disclosed our knowledge of the procedures.

Now she sent a threatening letter, via her realitor and our realitor, stating that if we did not give her the deposit money back PLUS all of her costs (inspection, title search etc) that she was not only going to take us to small claims court, but also notify the new owners and encourage them to persue us, and also notify the township that we were in violation of the environmental laws, which she claims would be a $4,000 fine. In this letter, she also attacked our moral and ethical status.

To me, this sounds like extortion, but I am not a legal professional.

Q1: Does it sound like extortion? Would we have a case?

Q2:If we were to sue her for extortion, would it be in PA courts where the contract was broken, or in MD where we now live?

Q3: We signed in our contract that we would not sue her for more than the deposit money-- is that null and void since she broke the contract by not settling? Could we get around that?

Q4: I know in some states it is necessary that the money actually change hands before it is called extortion. Would we go by MD law where we now live, or PA law where the settlement was supposed to have taken place?

We are not looking to get rich. We lost a considerable amount of money by her not purchasing the house, including 6 months of mortgage payments (we still settled on our new house and moved as planned) and taxes, water, electric, etc.) We also were placed under a great deal of stress with her threats, including my autistic son having to miss speech therapy and behavioral therapy because of the time it took to work out these problems.

Any suggestions?





While my posts do originate from the same event, they are not the same questions.

My first post was referring to her ability to sue us, and this post is more concerned with the technicalities of sueing her for extortion. I tried to post each question in the appropriate forum.

Thank you-


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