Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

I would like to know if I can sue a friend of my mother's over a verbal agreement? Last November (2009), my mother and her friend (Kelly) came to visit me and my fiance in her home in Daytona Beach. Kelly was curious about our plans for the future. i told her we will be getting married in 2011, and eventually get a house. She said that she had some extra money coming her way ($30,000), and that we should start looking for a house. She said she would help us buy one. We initially did not believe her, but she assured us that she would help us. About a month ago (March 2010) I came across a nice fixer-upper. The house wasn't in horrible shape, and the repairs needed were not too much trouble. We fell in live with the house. It was only $25,900. We immediately contact Kelly, and she said she wanted more information, We gave her the extra information. She then agreed to pay for the house. (She also said that if something fell through with this house, not to worry. She said would still help get a place) We were then going to pay her back every month. We gave her the realtor's phone number, and she even contacted a lawyer. After we signed the contract, we paid for an inspection and put $500 in escrow. Kelly still said everything was fine. In the contract the closing date was scheduled for May 3, 2010. The realtor contact me and said that the closing date would be a week earlier. We let Kelly know that teh money would need to be transferred before closing. I was asked to contact the lawyer to find out the total amount to be transferred. Four hours later I received an email from Kelly saying that she could not finance me. We had already paid money to get the house and it was literally a day before the potential closing date that she refused to help us. We were devastated and will likely be homeless in a few months. She wasted our time and money. At the moment we can afford out rent, but it does get tight. My fiance was laid off, and my schedule is random. We can still pay our rent, but in July it will go up past our budget. If we would have been able to buy the house, the payment would be less than our current rent. The extra money would go back into the house and to help pay for my tuition.I would like to know if I can sue Kelly. Do I have a case since she waited literally down to the last minute and we already put money into buying the house. She was in contact with a the realtors, the lawyer referred by the realtors, and the title company.

Asked on 4/25/10, 1:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jane-Robin Wender Wender Law, P.A.

I don't believe that you have recourse for breach of contract as there was no legal consideration on your part. Rather it was a promise to provide a gift. You can't sue to enforce a gift.

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Answered on 5/01/10, 12:57 pm

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