What to do regarding refund of an overage on a settlement statement paidpursuant to areal estate transaction?

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What to do regarding refund of an overage on a settlement statement paidpursuant to areal estate transaction?

I recieved a letter from my closing attorney that I recieved an overage of $14,750 wired into my bank account from the sale of my house. I am very concerned, as this is alot of money, plus I hired him to protect my interest in this transaction. Should I let him take me to court? Should I kindly advise him to file a claim with his errors and ommissions insurance to pay for his/their mistakes ?Can someone give me advise as to which way I should proceed with this matter?

Asked on December 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

IF the overage is legitimate--that is, if you were truly paid more than you should have been--you will need to return the money. You have no right to it. You do have a right to see the documentation and proof that was an overpayment--you don't need to simply take the attorney's word for it, and you can satisfy yourself that this did happen.

The attorney's malpractice insurance may or may not pay out, such as if he is sued by whichever party overpaid. but that doesn't change the fact that you have to return any overpayment. If it's the attorney's own money that was mistakenly wired, his malpractice coverage is irrelevant. Malpractice reimburses other parties who sue an attorney for the attorney's bad legal practice, but does not protect the lawyer from his own faults and does not absolve others of their own legal obligations.


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