Green Valley Builders does excellent work but isn't afraid to keep money that isn't theirs. We entered into contract to have them build a house. We put down $2500 in a good faith deposit and $5000 in upgrade money. In the end, the house would not appraise at what they were trying to sell. They had a "buddy" appraise the house which actually/magically did appraise at what they were trying to sell. However, our bank did not believe their appraisal and closed the loan.
The underwriter and her boss and the supervisor of the underwriting department all reviewed the appraisal and said it was pretty much unbelievable. The builder and their realtor then threatened to sue us if we did not find a way to close the house. My wife and I were scared because of what they were threatening to do to us.
The builder gave us a release of contract but wrote in the margins that we were to forfeit not only our upgrade money but also the good faith deposit. Because of such severe intimidation, our realtor advised us to sign it because he was worried that their realtor would push his client to sue us for everything. So, we did sign it. we had to...
The house sold to someone else one month later. The builder had to put in quite a bit of extras to close the deal.
Their realtor told our realtor if the house sold in a timely manner, we would get our money back... When asked, the realtor, of course, said no. The builders also said no when going to them directly-coming up with all kinds of silliness like having to pay $4000 to paint 2 bedrooms and the living room for the buyer. The point is that they didn't lose money. Not only did they make money but they made more money by keeping our deposit and upgrade money.
Undue Influence is a legal description used someone forces (financial threat, etc.) another to sign a document of any sort. We feel that because we were forced to sign the release contract we should be entitled to at least our good faith deposit back. It is not a lot of money to them but it is a lost of money to us.
Returning our money is the right and moral thing to do. Green Valley Builders is keeping money that does not beling to them. "undue influence"