Fighting buyer mutiny

With fortunes at stake, developers wrangle with hundreds of purchasers over contracts, awaiting decisions on whether deals are valid
By Sarah Ryley | December 01, 2009 12:19PM

From the December issue: While most developers are feeling the pain of the downturn, some are feeling it more than others. This month, The Real Deal looked at the new condo buildings that have seen the most buyers trying to renege on their contracts since the real estate market took a nosedive last year. The analysis found buyers asking for their deposits back on nearly 400 units within 20 buildings. In one case, more than 50 percent of the buyers in a building, the 505 in Hell’s Kitchen, filed lawsuits in federal court asking for their deposit back. The Real Deal obtained a list of escrow disputes from state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office via a Freedom of Information Law request, searched published archives and court databases for lawsuits against developers, and consulted with attorneys who are working on these cases. While there is no comprehensive list of contract disputes, the result of the research is the accompanying list of the 20 buildings citywide that our analysis found had the most wrangling over contracts (see “Where are buyers backing out?”).

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