Can I file a small courts claim for fees incurred regarding a voided house purchase?
Question Details: We entered a contract to purchase a house 2 months ago. We had the bank appraisal, inspection and a separate HUD inspection done; we were ready to close. However, 1 week before closing, the power of attorney was contested and the court ruled that the house could not be sold. Is it possible to get our $1600 back on this house that couldn't be sold? I saw that the small courts claim guide has this statement, "A small claim may not be filed for any claim involving the title to real estate". Does this mean that no real estate transaction may be brought to small claims court, like in our situation? Do we have another recourse to get our money back in this case?
This is not a claim regarding "title" to real estate--i.e. to determine who owns it or has a right to it; it is a straightforward claim for compensation, and that is within the small claim's court's compensation.
But as a general matter, you can only sue a person who was at fault. So say that the seller did nothing wrong and someone else brought a successful challenge to a POA that seemed valid on its face: in that case, you could likely not recover money, since there was not fault and so no liability. Only if you can show at least negligence (unreasonable carelessness) on someone's part could you potentially sue them for compensation.