What do I do if a real estate company breaks a contract with me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What do I do if a real estate company breaks a contract with me?

My husband and I had our home go into foreclosure. We were working with a different bank to refinance but, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to. The bank didn’t get back with us in a timely manner but the loan officer kept reassuring us that he would get the refi done. The problem arose when we found out that the bank couldn’t do it for us. So, because of the lack of time, we had to turn to a different alternative. My husband approached a lease to own company located in FL we are currently in MI who offered to purchase our house before the right of rescission expired and use the amount that they receive after the sale of the house as a down payment on a LTO home in FL. The person that we have been dealing with contacted us and told us that he didn’t think he could get out of the house we are currently in to to supply enough of a down payment for the FL home. He offered to lease option our home back to us but wants a $10,000 down payment and ridiculous monthly payments. We only owed $38,000 at the time of foreclosure. We have a signed contract stating that they would do what they said, texts, emails and recorded conversations stating what they were supposed to do. The MI home has been quit claimed to them and money has supposedly been transferred to the court paying this home off. On top of everything else, the LTO company has put my home on the market and I have had real estate agents showing my home. Do I have any legal protection? If so, what do I do? Since the home was quit claimed to them I know they have the legal right to sell it but how do I fight them for not honoring the other part of the contract which

was to lease option the home in FL to us? We also have a recorded conversation where we were told that they were going to lease option the MI house back to us but they still put it on the market. Without a resolution my family will be homeless while this company will have both homes and all the

equity money from the MI home.

Asked on February 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A written contract is enforceable--in court, if necessary. If the LTO company has violated any terms of the contract, you could sue them for breach of contract. If there is reason to think they deliberately lied to you about what they could or would do, you could also sue them for fraud (for a material misrepresentation, or lie, made to get you to do something). 
You could potentially sue for one or more of 1) monetary compensation; 2) to get out of the contract (terminate or void it); or 3) for "specific performance," or to require them to do what the contract said they should.
Given that you have a house at stake and that the LTO company will have attorneys, you need to hire a lawyer to help you, too--with your home at stake, don't try to take on a sophisticated business by yourself.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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