WHERE'S MY DEPOSIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Posted by Alex in S Fla

Posted by Rob FL on February 28, 2000 at 19:28:48:

I don’t know how it works where you are at, but in Florida when a licensed broker holds the deposit in escrow and there is a dispute over the deposit, there are specific regulations created by the real estate commission that govern this. The broker must notify the RE commission within 15 days and then the commission will issue an “escrow disbursement order.” Be careful when giving out free advice like this unless you know the law.

WHERE’S MY DEPOSIT!!! - Posted by Alex in S Fla

Posted by Alex in S Fla on February 28, 2000 at 15:09:45:

My wife and I contracted on a house and were given the choice to pick the title co. Subsequently, withdrew based on General Contractors estimates and Home inspection within the alotted time stated in the contract. We faxed written communication on the 22nd of this month to the sellers agent, title co., and our agent along with copies of the inspection and GC’s estimate per contract. I made a call today to find out when we could expect our deposit and was informed by the title co. that they need a release from the owner for us to receive our money and apparently he has not agreeded to do so as of today five days after we have given notice.

1st question: if we hired the title co. why do they need a release from the owner?

2nd question: is there a time frame I should consider reasonable to wait?

If anyone could also elaborate with other input or expound on the two questions I would greatly appreciate it.

I live in South Florida, Palm Beach County

Refusal to release $funds$ - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on March 01, 2000 at 15:17:16:

I also refused to sign the release for the deposit.

About a year and a half ago I had one of my SFH up for sale. Kenny and I had just started to work with a ?prospect? when along came a (realtor) friend of mine who said she had a buyer. She said that she had already pre-qualified them at the bank and they were ‘good to go’. I thought ?what the heck; I?ll throw some business her way.’

We signed the papers and things were cooking for a couple weeks when suddenly I received a call from my realtor saying that the buyers had decided they weren?t going to buy my place after all. (I found out the REAL reason shortly thereafter—the man and woman had had an argument and the woman decided that she wasn?t going through with the deal.)


(I felt like I had received a little ?scr**? job there [pardon my French]).

When I refused to sign the release for their deposit, SUDDENLY a (BACK-DATED) paper ?materialized? (several days later) stating that the buyers couldn?t qualify for the loan. (A lot of back-peddling at their end, if you know what I mean.)

At that point, I had had enuf. I sent a letter to the owner of the realty (which not only happened to be a very LARGE and VERY prosperous agency but was also in the process of pursuing the ?international? market).

I laid everything out in black and white of what had transpired and told her (the owner) that if we couldn?t come to terms pretty darn fast, that my next stop would be the Real Estate Commissioner?s office.

The wheels turned swiftly after that. ?We? agreed to split the deposit. I was satisfied and we all got on with our lives.

Hope you get your deposit back, Alex!


Re: WHERE’S MY DEPOSIT!!! - Posted by Charles

Posted by Charles on February 28, 2000 at 20:03:51:

A real estate agent is required by law to get both parties to sign a release of deposit before he can issue any money. If both parties make a claim on the deposit FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) must be notified as Rob has already pointed out.

When FREC gets it they will (eventually) give their ruling which will say who gets what. Even that is not certain. As a real estate agent I went through one of these disputes. After about two months FREC’s decision was not to make a decision, which left the courts or negotiations. (This one was negotiated - cheaper than lawyers)

In any event it is not up to the real estate agents or the title company.

Good luck,

In defense of the title Co. - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on February 28, 2000 at 17:56:14:

There is probably a clause in the contract for the title company to hold the earnest money until released by both parties. The fact that you picked the title company has nothing to do with it. My suggestion is to get a copy of the release from the title company and hand carry it to the signator from the builder. As the title co would say “It isn’t my bone the dogs are fighting over”

Re: WHERE’S MY DEPOSIT!!! - Posted by Bert Beaulieu - REALTOR

Posted by Bert Beaulieu - REALTOR on February 28, 2000 at 17:10:43:

Instead of hiring a lawyer, just tell the broker holding earnest money in escrow, that unless he has some good reason for not returning your $$$, you’re going to have a little talk with your state Real Estate Commission. REALTORS HATE to hear that kind of talk! Good luck

Re: WHERE’S MY DEPOSIT!!! - Posted by Warner(ATL)

Posted by Warner(ATL) on February 28, 2000 at 15:25:43:


I absolutely hate when Realtors do this. If you’ve clearly stated in the contract the conditions under which you should receive your money back, then you should receive your money back UPON REQUEST. There is nothing in the contract (I assume) that requires the seller’s approval regarding the return of your deposit. The real estate company is trying to protect themselves against repercussions by the seller, but now they should be more concerned about protecting themselves from you.

A strongly worded letter from your local attorney should do the trick.