I bought a “bank owned” house, but the bank didn’t pay the water bill, now they don’t want to pay it because we closed the purchase.

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I bought a “bank owned” house, but the bank didn’t pay the water bill, now they don’t want to pay it because we closed the purchase.

two months ago we purchased a bank owned property. It was a AS-IS property. The bank stipulated that inspection is only for the buyer information. When we did the inspection the water was turned off. After we closed the purchase, we called the water company to turn it back on only to find out the bill was unpaid. Is the bank legally responsible to pay unpaid bills?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unless the language in your agreement states you assumed (took responsibility for that bill), the bank has to pay.  However, it doesn't sound right the water company is trying to make you pay or not turn it on  ==- they should know to sue the bank.

So, this is what you do:

1. Call your state attorney general's office; and

2. Call your local councilperson; and

3. Contact the entity who regulates your bank -- try the Washington State Dept of Financial Institutions: http://www.dfi.wa.gov/


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