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forfiture of deposit on proposed sale of house

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?Florida
This is an involved case and there are no real estate agents or brokers involved. To stick with very basic facts.
1) A deposit check for $1000 was given as a binder on a house I had for sale. When I went to the house to pick up the check and sign the agreement, I found that the son of the person who wrote the check was the actual person who was getting the loan and signing the purchase agreement. His mother and her live in companion were going to live in the house and pay the mortage. He was not there when I picked up the check. They both fully understand it was a binder for the buying of the house and that the son would sign the Agreement on the following day which he did.

2.) They were paying closing cost of $8400 dollars. I wrote them a memo outling how I could offer owner financing and use the $8000 for a down payment and closing cost of approximately $750. I also gave them a copy of an Agreement to Deed, an amoritiazation schedule, etc. It was for a 10 year balloon at 10% interest. (He had several bankrupticies, very bad credit, hers was between 6&7.) The interest rate the mortage compay wanted was 7.5 on the son.
3. They took the information to the mortgage broker and she advised them that it would be a good deal for them. From that point, we went from the written purchase agreement to the three of them purchasing the house with owner financing. He always professed that he could get the money for the down payment and it was the same as the amount of closing cost on the broker loan.

4. I had requested that they give pay stubs, fill out a short application, and give me their rental history. I did not ask for the same information on the son, as he was approved by the loan company. When it was not timely forth coming, I wrote them a letter, outling what the agreement was, assigning a dead line to close and mentioning that I only had the $1000 deposit and my house was now off the market for a month. I included same on the front of the envelope and left it on their door. It was returned with the information in apporximately a week and included the same envelope that was on the door. I had a deadline of April 27th for the information and closing on May 1.

5. I did not receive on time, but when received, I confirrmed the information and did a background check on him. It was bad, but from all indications, she was stable and capable and willing to pay her obligations.

6. It was at this point that he started quibling on the money and how much he could get. He stopped staying in touch and in the first week of June, he started asking for his deposit back as well as the pay stubs and rental information. I sent the latter back, but did not send the $1000 back. At the time, I had not decided what to do with it.

7. I felt entitled because I had two buyers that I actually talked with their brokers and they were qualified. My expenses run about $1000 per month and now it was going to take at least two more months to go through the process of advertising and closing. They kept assuring that they could come up with the money.

8. At the end of June, they filed a complaint in small claims court indcating that I had promised to hold the check (which I had not) and asking for the
$1000 plus $179. they had paid in fees for paid checks through a overdraft protection she had. (The check was cashed on May 5, but they never mentioned it would have bounced.) I received this in August and filed a counter complaint for the same amount. We had mediation at court, but could not agree. (They did brag that they had bought a house for $149,000
(mine was 134,000 which at that time she could not qualify so their is indication that they could have followed through on the my sale.

9. I have all the proof of the above, but want to know if the legal aspects are solid for me to keep the deposit. It seems the problem is and I can not find statue on this is:
The check was written by a person that was not the signer of the original Purchase agreement. The check did say deposit and it was clearly written for him. The contracual person was nineteen and their was no further contact with him as it was clear the true purchaser were the mother and
boyfriend. However, his name would have been on the primisorry note and the agreemnt for deed had the purchase gone through. His name is not on
the Complaint, only hers and the boyfriend, but only she is on the bank account. We never made any changes to the Purchase Agreement, and the conditions were breached. Can you site any statues that might apply; do I have a case. Should I get an attorney. I spent so much time with them that I would gladly pay an attorney the fee for satifaction, but do not want to go to court if it is clear that I do not have any chance of winning.

In reading this it seems clear that if I can only use the written purchase agreement, then can she write a check for a deposit clealy meant for the purchase of the house he is signing the Purchase Agreement to purchase.
All the rest was between the two parties with intent documented, but no new signed agreement and no suspension of the original.
Thank you for guidance.

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