Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Louisiana Real Estate Commission v. Butler case brief

Louisiana Real Estate Commission v. Butler case brief summary
899 So. 2d 151

SYNOPSIS: Appellant buyers signed a contract to buy appellee sellers' home, contingent on the buyers obtaining financing. The buyers' application for the loan was denied, and the sellers refused to return the deposit. Appellee Louisiana Real Estate Commission filed a concursus proceeding. The Fourteenth Judicial District Court of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, held that the sellers were entitled to keep the deposit. The buyers appealed.

OVERVIEW: On review, the buyers claimed that the trial court erred in awarding the sellers the deposit due to the buyers failing to seek a loan in any amount at the desired eight and one-half percent interest rate, that alternatively, there was no meeting of the minds as to the terms of the contract, and that the trial court erred in denying the buyers attorney fees for breach of contract.

Taken in conjecture with a provision in the contract which represented that the buyers had sufficient funds to complete the transaction, including any down payment, the appellate court found that the buyers failed to meet the obligations set out for them in the contract.

-Moreover, if there was any ambiguity in the contract, as the party who furnished the text in question, the "to be determined" provision in the contract had to be interpreted against the buyers, pursuant to La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2056 .
-Thus, there was no error in the trial court's ruling awarding the sellers the deposit.
-Further, there was no evidence in the record of a mutual misunderstanding as to the terms of the contract.
-As such, the buyers were not entitled to attorney fees.

OUTCOME: The judgment was affirmed.

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