A buyer offered X for a building, which was accepted by the seller. The building had a mortgage, Y, which was greater than X. The terms of the purchase contract called for the building to be delivered "free and clear of all mortgages, liens, and other encumbrances," and the understanding was that the seller was supposed to pay off the mortgage by making up the remaining mortgage balance, Y-X.

Seller used only X to pay down the mortgage, which had a remaining balance of Y-X. Buyer doesn't want the building with the Y-X mortgage remaining on it, wants to cancel the deal, and get his X back.

What is the name of the tort that the seller has committed? What rights and remedies does the buyer have?

  • FWIW, a transaction of this type is called a short sale. Normally, a short sale does not proceed without funds being available from other sources, or an agreement of the lender to release the lien with respect to the buyer.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


No tort has been committed

This is a straight up breach of contract.

I also don’t understand how this happened - settlement on land usually involves the mortgage holder to taking payment in full and discharging the mortgage.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .