Home Heartache: South Florida couple forced to wait months for refund after cancelling contract on new home

(WSVN) - A South Florida couple was ready to take the huge leap into owning their first home, but instead of moving into a new Florida City development, they had to fight to get their money back. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek with this special assignment report: Home Heartache.

Yiganys Marrero’s dream is to own her own home.

Two years ago, when she and her husband toured this model, it was love at first sight.

Yiganys Marrero, shopping for a home: “It had three bedrooms, two baths. It was all so modern, so clean, stainless steel, so beautiful.

In May 2019, the Marreros finished paying their deposit of $10,245 for the townhouse in Luna at Grand Palms.

It’s a new community in Florida City built by Brickless Developer Group Corp.

Yiganys Marrero: “Weeks went by, months went by. They told us it would take long because it was pre-construction.”

Five months later, in August, they received the sales contract, but Yiganys saw changes in the plans she did not like.

Yiganys Marrero: “I started seeing discrepancies. For example, we paid an additional $5,000 to be a corner unit. We didn’t get a corner unit. We were placed in the middle of a complex.”

The Marreros canceled their contract on Aug. 26, 2020 and expected to get their deposit back.

Yiganys Marrero: “I read the contract. It said 45 to 60 days max.”

Sixty days passed, and the check did not arrive.

Yiganys called the Brickless office.

Yiganys Marrero: “She said due to COVID, they’re taking up to 90 days to do refunds.”

So, she waited the 90 days before calling the Brickless office again.

This time, she says they told her she would not get her money for another three months.

Yiganys Marrero: “The last person that was there said to me, ‘If you don’t like my answer, hire an attorney.’ Why should I hire an attorney to get my money?”

Yiganys didn’t hire attorney, but others have.

David Blattner, attorney: “They’re all very frustrated.”

Fort Lauderdale attorney David Blattner says he represents 20 clients with a variety of complaints against Brickless.

David Blattner: “One is that they tried to terminate their contracts and were unable to get their deposits back. Two, they had signed reservation agreements as far back as early 2019 and had still not received the final purchase and sale agreement, and three, even if they had received a purchase agreement, the purchase price had been increased since the date that they signed the reservation agreement.”

Right now, Blattner is in negotiations with the company’s attorneys to resolve his clients’ issues.

David Blattner: “For almost everyone of them, this is the ‘dream house.’ It’s time they resolve these issues.”

We contacted Brickless Developer Group Corp. for comment.

The company tells 7News, “There was an extremely high influx of pre-sale cancellations due to widespread economic uncertainty. While every effort was made to expedite the return of the requested deposits, for a few buyers, it took longer than expected.”

As for the concerns of David Blattner’s clients, Brickless says, “We have worked to avoid even a minor price adjustment, but due to the continuing effects of the pandemic … this has been unavoidable across the entire industry.”

Yiganys Marrero: “We’re on our way heading to their sales office. We’re super excited.”

Two days after 7News contacted Brickless, the Marreros were told to come get their check.

Yiganys Marrero: “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You’ve been amazing.”

Now that they have their cash, the hunt is back on for their dream home.

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