Who pays when purchase funds go missing?

Law of the Land

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In the case Johnson v. Schultz, et al., the Schultzes were in contract to purchase a home from the Johnsons for $277,500. The Schultzes hired a real estate attorney by the name of Parker to represent them in the transaction. Parker completed a number of tasks for the Schultzes, including completing a title search, procuring a policy of title insurance, preparing closing documents and a power of attorney, and actually performing the closing. The Johnsons, who were familiar with Parker, paid him $125 to prepare the deed. On Jan. 3, 2006, both parties attended the closing at Parker's office, and the Schultzes' mortgage lender, State Farm Bank, wired $200,320 into Parker's trust account. The Schultzes used their personal monies to pay the remainder of the purchase price. That same day, Parker recorded the deed, rendering the Schultzes the legal owners of the home, and gave the Johnsons a check drawn on the trust account for the full purchase price. But when the Johnsons tried ...