Problems with foundation for deck...HELP!
Removing the topsoil could have exposed a layer of fatty clay, which will retain water much better than the topsoil might have. The addition of landscape fabric makes things less breathable, and will not aid in evaporation of water (it won't prevent it, but just like mulch, it'll slow it down).
In removing the topsoil, did you maintain positive slope away from the house? You mentioned leveling it out, which is not good. Your grade should slope no less than 6" in the first 10' from the house. If the water can't drain, and it can't percolate into the soil, you've got Jello.
I'm assuming that this sitework was done for the area underneath the deck? What you're describing would not be adequate for the footing itself! You need to dig piers.