What to do if a bank issued me a loan commitment but declined the final approval and now the seller is threatening to terminate the contract and will not release the deposit?

How can I get the deposit back? Can I put the lis pendens on the property only due to the deposit dispute?

Asked on July 25, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can only get the deposit back if there was a finance or mortgage contingency in the contract of sale: that is, if one of the terms of the contract stated that if you, the buyer, could not get a mortgage through no fault of his or her own by a certain date, he or she would be allowed out of the contract and would get his/her deposit back. If  there was no mortgage contingency and you failed to get financing for *any* reason, then the seller does not need to let you have the deposit back. You have until the closing date of the contract to come up with the money or financing somehow: if you can't, the contract is terminated by your breach (not being to pay for the property) and the seller can keep the deposit. Without a mortgage contingency, you would have no legal grounds for a lis pendens or like action.

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