NYC Condo Refinance Collapses Because There Was No "Meeting of the Minds"

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In Trief v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Index No. 105280/09, — N.Y.S.2d — (Sup Ct, NY County, Apr. 4, 2011) (“Trief”), the plaintiffs sought damages arising out of their attempt to refinance a mortgage loan with the defendant bank (the “Bank”), for breach of contract and violation of New York’s Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act, N.Y. General Business Law (“NYGBL”) § 349. Justice Charles Edward Ramos granted the Bank’s motion for summary judgment on both counts. The parties actually proceeded to closing when plaintiff walked away from the refinancing of a luxury midtown condominium located at 15 West 53rd Street, New York, NY – seemingly over a $518.75 dispute.

The main lesson is that all parties, especially when communicating via more informal modes of communications like email, must clarify and confirm an “agreement on all essential terms” or else a valid contract will not be formed.

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