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Bushmiller v. Schiller

Maryland Court of Appeals
368 A.2d 1044 (1977)


Facts

Eunice Schiller (plaintiff) agreed to purchase a home from Joseph Bushmiller (defendant). The contract required Schiller to pay a deposit of $13,000 to Bushmiller. Under the contract, if Schiller failed to complete the purchase, the deposit would be forfeited. However, the contract was contingent on Schiller obtaining financing for $100,000 with a term of 20 years at the prevailing interest rate within 10 days. Schiller was required to pursue financing and file all necessary papers that are required to complete processing, including resubmission and appeal if necessary. The contract was executed on July 25, 1975. Prior to the execution of the contract, Schiller had discussed the possibility of financing with The Equitable Trust Company and filled out a loan application. The loan officer indicated that the bank would likely offer financing based on a 20-year amortization plan with a five-year balloon. On July 27, Schiller visited her son and learned what balloon financing meant. In the next few days, Schiller called the bank and withdrew her application. On August 6, Schiller told Bushmiller’s agent that she was no longer interested in buying the home based on the issue with financing and that the home was too expensive. Schiller also told the bank’s loan officer that she was not interested in the financing that included the balloon payment. The loan officer responded that the bank was not willing to offer financing on any other terms. Schiller did not seek financing from any other banks. On August 7, Schiller requested the security deposit back based on her failure to obtain financing. On October 13, Bushmiller responded that he was able to facilitate financing at the prevailing interest rates for her, but, if she chose not to go forward with the sale, Bushmiller was going to keep the deposit. Schiller then sued Bushmiller, seeking a refund of the deposit. The trial court ruled in favor of Schiller, and Bushmiller appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Melvin, J.)

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