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Depends on who is holding the funds and the wording in the contract. Interpleader, mediation and and arbitration are most common!
Fred Griffin Florida R...
Per the contract, the Title & Escrow company has sole discretion. No time frame stipulated.
Tony and Suzanne Marri...
Sometimes lawyers and judges make these decisions.
Several years ago Texas put in the contract that the party who failed to release earnest money (and was wrong) was subject to triple damages AND attorney fees. That solved almost all EM disputes.
We need to notify the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) within 2 weeks to notify them of an escrow dispute. It then does to mediation, arbitration and if no agreement and compliance, then to a FREC Committee to review and final decision.
Mediation first, then to court.
It depends on the circumstances to some degree. If buyer defaults the seller may have the right to the deposit.
Michael J. Perry - it's an attorney question - though I have seen the escrow office keeping money in a separate account until the issue is resolved mutually by both buyers and sellers.
If the parties can't agree, it goes to court and the loser pays everybody's legal fees. That legal fee things tends to make people get really reasonable, and we can usually get an agreement.
This has happened to me. My broker got involved and if the buyers defaulted the earnest money goes to the seller.
Yes, 30 days and then court
Depends on the contract, but if both parties did not sign a cancellation and a full return of EMD, it will be held in Escrow till the conflict is resolved.
Once both parties have agreed to the cancellation and release of funds, the escrow agent is free to disperse the funds as agreed.
There could be default on the agreement (non-performance) before all contingencies are removed. This question is simply too over-broad and a blanket answer may not apply.
Depends on the contract and why they backed out. The seller could be entitled to the EMD.
the money stays in escrow until they agree or they sue us for the deposit...at that time, we need to hire our attorney to turn it over to the clerk of courts...they go to court and fight over it....
We have interpleader before it would become a lawsuit.
Sellers get to keep it. Can try a third party to moderate it but it is often not productive.
In WI, If the parties can't agree, the broker has to hold for a certain amount of days, then can petition court for dispersal, taking fees out of earnest money.
Most Florida Brokers give the deposit to a Title Company or Title Attorney. (We Brokers don't want an escrow account audit by the DBPR/Florida Real Estate Commission).
The Title Attorney holding the deposit will require both parties to sign a release before they refund it to the Buyer, or award it to the Seller. If one party refuses to sign, the Title Company will not release the deposit. The parties will then have to "lawyer up", and possibly go to Court.
AZ Residential Purchase Contract = escrow gets to make the final call, should there be a breach and the parties don't mutually agree.
Various CRE Contracts spell it out as the parties and their attorneys agree.
We have had what I consider a bad call via escrow in the past, so I want to see terms spelled out explicitly and critical dates hit ahead of schedule.
If they don't agree the escrow holder has to make a determination based on the contract's default language. If they still can't then an interpleader motion is filed with the court and the judge decides.
When both parties do not agree a title company will hold the earnest money until a court decides.
Michael J. Perry Should a buyer or seller not sign a release, we are required to notified the non signing part in writing by certified mail. After 30 days of receipt, it will be up to the Judge to determine who gets the EMD. This takes it out of the hands of the Broker and transfers it to the Court.
The answer is too long for this space.
After the time frame is up we send the money to the clerk of court to hold and they fight over it there.