Business of Law

Real Estate Lawyer Closes Office Temporarily; Bank Asks Court to Decide Who Gets $473K Trust Account


A well-known Georgia real estate lawyer has temporarily closed his Columbus office amidst an audit, and a local bank has asked a Muscogee County court to determine who should get the nearly $473,000 in his attorney trust account, the Ledger-Enquirer reports.

“Our title insurance underwriters have suspended our access and ability to close transactions until their report has been finalized and completed,” said Michael A. Eddings in an email Friday to real estate agents concerning deals being handled by his law office. “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.”

Eddings, who owns several restaurants with his wife, declined an interview request by the newspaper after Friday’s court filing by Columbus Bank and Trust.

However, he said in an email to the Ledger-Enquirer that such audits of real estate practices are “very common and routine,” the newspaper reports.

In a statement intended to be address the real estate community, he added: “The rumors you’ve heard are all false. There has been no arrest, no FBI, no IRS, or anything of the sort.”

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