A Miami Escrow Dispute Attorney Can Help You Resolve Your Conflict
While most real estate transactions successfully go to closing, every now and then something goes wrong, and one of the parties refuses to complete the sale. Most of these disputes revolve around who is entitled to the earnest money deposit being held by the escrow agent. These disputes can range from mild inconveniences that are quickly resolved to major headaches that can become quite difficult to untangle. If you have found yourself engaged in an escrow dispute and are not sure what to do, an experienced escrow lawyer can help you get it resolved quickly and cost-effectively.
We Represent Buyers, Sellers, Escrow Agents and Other Interested Parties in Disputes Arising Out of Real Estate Transactions in Miami
Escrow disputes involving residential and commercial real estate transactions can involve a variety of complex issues, and the options that are available for resolving these disputes depend on the nature of the transaction, the language of the parties’ agreement, and various other factors. As a result, experienced legal representation is required. At Edelboim Lieberman Revah, we have significant experience representing clients in escrow disputes in Miami. If you or your company is facing a dispute, we can help you make informed decisions, and we can fight for a favorable outcome considering the specific circumstances at hand.
When Is Legal Action Necessary?
Oftentimes, it will be in all parties’ best interests to resolve an escrow dispute without resorting to litigation. We understand the practicalities involved when real estate transactions start to break down, and we know that our clients can have varying desired outcomes depending on the circumstances involved. While legal action will be necessary in some cases, negotiation and mediation can be highly effective tools, and we have had significant success helping our clients resolve escrow disputes out of court when warranted.
Let an Attorney Review Your Contract
When one party refuses to close for whatever reason, the best outcome is that the parties agree on who should keep the earnest money deposit. Escrow disputes arise when the parties cannot agree as to who should keep the deposit. Without an agreement between the buyer and seller, the escrow agent typically refuses to release the funds to either party. As a result, the question then becomes how to get the dispute resolved so that the appropriate party can receive the funds.
The short answer to the question is that the real estate contract should control how the dispute is resolved. Most realtors use a standard contract that includes a provision controlling how escrow disputes will be resolved. However, it is important to note that the process can differ depending on who you use as an escrow agent. Specifically, the dispute will be overseen by the Florida Real Estate Commission if you use a real estate broker as your escrow agent. An escrow dispute lawyer can review your contract and determine what steps must be taken in order to resolve the conflict.
Common Issues in Escrow Disputes
Escrow serves a critical purpose in residential and commercial real estate transactions. When funds, documents or other assets are placed in escrow, they are beyond the reach of both the buyer and the seller until certain conditions are satisfied. In a typical scenario, a buyer will place a deposit in escrow, and if the transaction goes forward, the seller will receive the escrowed funds at closing. But, if the transaction does not move forward (i.e., if an inspection reveals previously unknown issues with the property), then the buyer will be entitled to a return of the escrowed funds.
The assets placed into escrow, the timing of the escrow deposit and the conditions that trigger a release from escrow to either party are all governed by the terms of the parties’ agreement. As a result, most escrow disputes involve questions regarding the parties’ respective contractual rights. At Edelboim Lieberman Revah, we represent buyers, sellers, escrow agents and other interested parties in disputes such as:
- Disputes involving the buyer’s right to the return of escrowed funds
- Disputes regarding the timing or satisfaction of contingencies
- Disputes regarding the conditions for closing
- Disputes arising out of the escrow agent’s alleged improper disbursement or withholding of escrowed funds
- Disputes involving the means of resolving escrow disputes and the remedies that are available
These are just some of the most common examples. Escrow disputes can involve a broad array of issues, and, in commercial real estate transactions, in particular, these disputes can involve highly technical legal, financial, engineering and other matters. With our lawyers’ experience handling these disputes, we are able to help our clients understand their legal rights, evaluate their options and choose the best path forward.
Your Options for Resolving the Escrow Dispute
As mentioned above, the best option for resolving the dispute is for both parties to come to an agreement. In fact, many contracts may actually require the parties to wait 10 days before proceeding and at least attempt to resolve the dispute. An attorney can advise you as to the strength of your position and help develop a persuasive argument as to why you are entitled to the deposit. If that fails, however, the potential options for resolving the dispute are as follows:
- The parties may agree to submit the matter to arbitration or mediation. In some cases, this may be required by the contract.
- You may hire an attorney to file a lawsuit referred to as an “interpleader action” where the escrow agent is ordered to pay the money into the court. The court will then hold a hearing and determine who should receive the funds.
- If you used a real estate broker as the escrow agent, the Florida Real Estate Commission may review the matter and issue an order determining who is entitled to the deposit.
Again, the options available will depend upon your contract. An escrow lawyer can provide guidance and advice at every step of the dispute, including which options may be the most advantageous to you.
Contact a South Florida Real Estate Attorney at Edelboim Lieberman Revah Today for Assistance with Your Escrow Dispute
If you are involved in an escrow dispute, we can help you move forward. Contact us online or call us at to schedule a free consultation.