how can I get my earnest money back

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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