The Second Department determined defendants-sellers were entitled to retain the downpayment after the buyer was not ready, willing and able to close on the time-of-the-essence date:
… [T]he defendants established, prima facie, that they effectively made September 3, 2014, a time of the essence closing date, and that, although they were ready, willing, and able to close on September 3, 2014, the plaintiff was not ready, willing, and able to close on that date … . The defendants also established, prima facie, that the plaintiff was in default by demonstrating that the plaintiff did not appear at the closing and admitted that he did not have the funds to close … . In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination to grant those branches of the defendants’ motion which were for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and to cancel the notice of pendency.
A buyer “who defaults on a real estate contract without lawful excuse, cannot recover the down payment,” at least where, as here, that down payment represents 10% or less of the contract price … . Ashkenazi v Miller, 2021 NY Slip Op 00140, Second Dept 1-13-21