how can I get my earnest money back

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

how can I get my earnest money back

Our realtor, a dual agent, is not wanting to give our earnest money back. Our contract was contingent on financing, which we received a letter of denial and provided her with a copy. She is not responding to a letter in which I sent her 2 days ago disagreeing with the reasoning why the sellers believe they should receive the earnest money.

Asked on November 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You sue: that's how you get money back when someone refuses to honor a contract and pay or return something they should--you sue sue them for "breach of contract."
You would sue the seller, not the agent; the agent legally cannot release the money without the seller's consent, and cannot force the seller to consent. It is the seller, who is asserting that they have a right to the money, that you have to take action against (the agent is likely a useful witness, but is not a party to the case unless it turns out that the agent actually took the money or did something else similarly wrongful).
If the amount is less than the small claims limit, sue in small claims court on a "pro se" (as your own attorney) basiss--that's the fastest and cheapest option. If too much for small claims, hire an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption