Legal Question in Business Law in Michigan

We sold a business 5 years ago...and put a large amount of money in escrow with the Title Company. After months of swindling, fabrications (lies),etc. the person who bought our business ended up with a lot of money...and the Escrow money was going to go to him as well. WELL, when we went to sign the release of the Escrow to him it seems it was 'missing' (along with a few other smaller escrow amounts.) Apparently there was some alleged embezzlement going on...and to make it more complicated the Title Company was sold to another person between the time we deposited the escrow and the time we went to release the Escrow! SO...WE ended up having to get a loan and pay the 'missing escrow' amount to the buyer of our business!! Not to mention all the legal/court fees, etc. NOW...3 years later we STILL have no money..everyone says it's 'not their responsibility' and our lawyer has just found out that we have to make a complaint now to the police department which then will allow us take the original Title Company ower to court and sue he's apparently the only one 'responsible' for it! At one point our lawyer said we could get 'treble' what is missing due to all the money it's cost us, etc. AND the fact that we had 'trusted' our money to that was supposed to be secure! We are so frustrated and so confused about what to do. It seems like someone has gotten away with 'stealilng' a large amount of money that is ours, yet WE are the ones having to spend endless dollars on trying to get our OWN MONEY from them NO ONE is trying to help at all.

Asked on 3/20/10, 9:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Longcore Howard PC

First I would like to state, I believe you need to hire an attorney that has experience with litigation and, in particular, complex litigation cases. There are multiple parties and claims and I can only assume large amounts of money involved in your situation. An attorney that handles smaller cases or business transactions can get lost in the requirements, necessities and rules and this can lead to you losing your rights. Also, there might be impending time limitations with some claims so I would suggest hiring representation soon.

As I said above this is a complex issue. There are potential claims that should be brought against the buyer of your business. As you stated, he obviously used some unsavory business tactics to get a lot of money.

Next you state that there were some embezzlement issues. Those types of claims are fraught with confusion because there are multiple parties involved and multiple claims because one party failed to secure your interest, etc. and then there will be another party that actually took the money,

The sale of the title company further complicates the matter because obviously the current owner will need to brought in and might end up being the party that actually harmed you but he may have to be responsible for the past owners errors too. The past owner might also need to be brought in because he may be liable for damages too.

I see multiple major claims in this situation. Waiting to act will only complicate things more. And with everyone pointing the finger at everyone else, you need someone on your side that has sorted through situations like this before. You have certain rights and you do not want to close any doors unless it is absolutely necessary.

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Answered on 3/26/10, 6:01 am

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