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Contract case involving home purchase settled, all fees recovered

Gentry Locke for the Plaintiffs

Henry County Circuit Court

Our clients, a married couple, lost their home in a house fire. They entered into a written real estate contract to purchase another home. They would pay cash using their homeowners insurance payment from the fire loss. The parties signed the contract, set a closing date, and completed the home inspection. The sellers performed a septic cleaning and inspection and had a termite inspection done. The sellers then purported to terminate the contract. They cited a provision in the contract requiring the buyers to show proof of funds to close. They buyers had submitted a USAA bank statement showing they had sufficient cash to close. However, because the buyers first submitted the bank statement during contract negotiations, they had redacted some of the figures to avoid revealing how much they might ultimately offer to pay. The sellers never requested any additional documents beyond the redacted bank statement. Gentry Locke attorneys filed suit for specific performance of the contract and for reasonable attorneys fees (the contract had a fee-shifting clause) and court costs. After initial discovery and with our summary judgment motion pending, the sellers agreed to settle the case by performing the contract, selling the home to our clients at the contract price, and paying our clients 100% of their attorneys’ fees and court costs incurred, plus the costs of their having stored their remaining furniture and possessions for nine months.

Status of the case:

The matter was settled, the home purchase closed, and the case was dismissed.

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