Homestead, FL asked in Legal Malpractice and Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Possible scam and extortion in a house sale, legal base for a case of damages compensation.

Buyer (Mr.F) knew from the beginning that he had IRS liens on his own assets, but he purposely dragged the sale out up to the loan underwriting process. Once the lien came out from the underwriting process, on the agreed closing date, he extorted the seller (Mr.G) into lowering the sale price for the exact amount of the lien. The sale, of course, fell through.

In the meanwhile, Mr.G (seller) made an offer on another house based on the amount that would have derived form the above mentioned sale. In order to respect the agreement and avoid losing the deposit, after being scammed by Mr.F, Mr.G was forced in asking for an FHA loan, which costed him more than 30,000 $.

Do we have a case in order to sue for damages compensation beyond the deposit (only 1000$, according to the market consuetude)?

1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan A. Klurfeld
Jonathan A. Klurfeld
  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Highly highly unlikely. Mr G could have made his contract to buy contingent upon selling his home; or purchased after the selling closing. There was no literal gun to Mr G's head. Closings fall through all of the time and are not actionable beyond the deposit contemplate by the contract. Further, Mr G likely has no quantifiable damages yet as he still owns the home he wants to sell and hypothetically the value could go up $10k next month, or a bidding war of buyers who want the house, and Mr. G come out better than the first deal with zero damages.

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