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Eddings Real Estate Law Firm Closes
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Michael A. Eddings has closed the doors to his real estate law firm due to a bank freezing its trust account and having $470,000 transferred to a court registry. Columbus Bank and Trust filed the documents, which is not the end of the problems for Eddings. He told real estate agents in the area that he is not permitted to work on closing transactions because of an audit being performed on his company’s finances.

“Our title insurance underwriters have suspended our access and ability to close transactions until their report has been finalized and completed,” Eddings said in a statement. “A First American Title Agent will call all offices that we have pending closings with to reset the closing at another Attorney’s Office until we are cleared to resume closing transactions.”

  
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Eddings is a board member for the Charter Review Commission, NeighborWorks Columbus, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Regional Medical Foundation while owning a couple of local businesses with his wife.

“Michael and his company have always been an affiliate member of our board in good standing,” said Bob Patterson, president of the Columbus Board of Realtor. “No one’s really saying.”

Eddings also said the following in his statement: “The rumors you’ve heard are all false. There has been no arrest, no FBI, no IRS, or anything of the sort. Audits for real estate law practices are very common and routine.”

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Eddings has been absent from real estate closings all over town, which has made things very difficult for real estate agents, especially those who worked exclusively with Eddings. Hundreds of clients across the town are being affected by Eddings’ ban from closing contracts.

Any clients who were nearing a closing while using Eddings are allowed to work with a new attorney should the need arise. Many in the industry feel that closings are simple to complete, so a transition to another attorney should not cause any problems at all.



The $472,949 that was transferred to a court registry will remain there until a judge decides how it will be disbursed. The filing, which is known as a petition for interpleader, was not commented on by Bill Tucker, an attorney representing the bank.

Columbus Bank and Trust, in papers filed in Muscogee County Superior Court, cited the following: “considerable uncertainty as to the specific ownership of the funds on deposit” in the account held by Eddings. The filing also stated, “a risk of the funds in question being delivered to persons other than those who have legitimate claims for said money.”

“Given the conflicting information and claims relative to said funds, (the bank) cannot safely pay the funds on deposit to any one respondent or to any one person, until the respective rights of said person or entities have been determined and otherwise adjudicated by the Court,” the bank said.



 

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