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Sellers could sue after buyer’s deposit check bounced

A man agreed to buy a house on the Rhode Island coast for $1.2 million. He wrote a deposit check for $120,000, and signed a contract saying it was a cash deal and wasn’t contingent on his being able to arrange financing.

However, the man told the seller that he needed some time to deposit the $120,000 in his account, and asked that the check not be cashed right away.

The seller verbally agreed. After 12 days, though, the seller signed the contract and deposited the check. It bounced.

The buyer then told the seller that he had changed his mind and was walking away from the deal.

The seller sued the buyer for $120,000. A Rhode Island appeals court sided with the seller.

According to the court, since the written contract said that the deal was for cash and wasn’t contingent on the buyer’s obtaining financing, the buyer had waived his right to ask the seller to hold off on depositing the check. If he backed out of the deal, he owed the seller the deposit money, regardless of what he had verbally asked for and what the seller had verbally agreed to do.

The Rhode Island real estate P&S attorneys at our law firm are experienced in matters pertaining to Rhode Island real estate law. Our real estate attorneys serve all RI counties including Providence County, Bristol County, Kent County, Newport County, and South County and the cities and towns of Bristol, Cranston, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, North Kingston, Providence, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Warwick, Woonsocket, and all of Rhode Island.