I am not getting back my earnest money deu to homeowner backed out

The homeowner changed his mind and he didn’t show up on closing date and when I asked about my earnest money which is $5000/- he sent me a legal notice saying that I am threatening him. What should I do to get problem resolved?

Asked on August 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Sue him. If the seller (homeowner) backs out of the sale, he MUST return the earnest money--he has no legal right to keep it if he does not sell you the house, and is in "breach of contract" (which is what you would sue him for) by not going through with the sale as required by the contract or agreement. The way you legally and properly get money from people who owe it to you is to sue them for the money. In the lawsuit, you could also sue for other costs you incurred due to him backing out of the sale, such as if you expended money  on an inspector.

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