Taking posession of a property after winning the online bid


Myself & my husband have a friend/financial backer who was gracious enough to register to bid, and handle the financial end of this purchase. We then will get a mortgage and pay him back plus some extra after a year. All of this is fine & not the issue. We won the bid 21days ago now, and once our backer spoke with the seller/bank, we all then went to the property & cut the 2ft tall lawn, and started cleaning up & doing minor preparations to move in, ASAP. On the 20th day (yesterday) our backer said ge recieved a call asking if he was staying in the house, he said he wasnt. They stated that the electric usage was up (there was a crew there a wk ago, from the bank, installing a kitchen as per a pre-foreclosure contract, which im sure jacked up the usage a bit) and also they questioned the locks being changed.(the neighbor said he has been catching people at least once a wk kicking in the back door) He was told this must be investigated further, and may mess up the sale contract??? We were supposed to close a week ago, and are now looking at closing tomorrow, and are starting to get very nervous, thinking theyre now trying to make excuses to back out. Everything ive read here says once we won the bid its almost definitely ours, besides paperwork & red tape, and advises to absolutely change those locks asap, as we would be responsible for any damages after winning the bid. So why do you think they’d be asking these questions, and saying our actions might effect the sale contract? I mean, even though tge electric wasnt our deal, if that remotely looked like it may hold us up, we would totally be willing to pay it! Were at the point now that we’re in fear of this being a scam or something. This is all taking place in new jersey. Are there any laws i should be aware of, or any rights i need to know to protect us? Because if this starts going bad, i sure would love to have some ammo to fire back at them. This is the first auction purchase for all of us, so we just dont know what to do should it go south. Please help!


You will want to read your contract thoroughly and get the advice of an attorney asap. We are not attorneys so we cannot give legal advice. PropertyRadar is not yet in NJ and I am personally not familiar with the process there.


Update: First, thank you to Kim for your candid response-my only drawback to getting a lawyer on this is that only our friend, aka our $ man is who would have to, because he is the only one on paper-we dont exist to these people. Now for the update: my husband and i went over to the house last night, both to assess the property and check on any changes made to it, and to grab a few cleaning supplies i needed for our current residence. Upon entering through the front door, we noticed the power was off-no lights would work. We walked around and saw that every water source-toilets, sinks, etc, had been tagged. Someone had winterized the system…again. In the kitchen we saw our new lock we had installed on the back door was laying on the floor, and another was in its place. We promptly gathered any & every item we had there & left. Of course we could not reach our $man to fill him in. If it WERE me on paper as the auction winner, i wouldve called the cops & pressed trespassing, breaking & entering, and destruction of property charges on whoever had been in there, property management, or whoever they are for the seller. From my understanding, if there are any damages to the property after auction, it’s on the new owner/winning bidder. To prevent any possibility of that, securing the house by changing locks was the best way to go. Is there anything you can recommend for me to look up to find out what our (the 3of us) rights are? I know u said you dont deal with nj, but maybe you could narrow my search by suggesting certain statutes or if i should be looking for state or municipality law, or just keep searching google all day and night, as i have not slept much (much? Try at all…) since this all started a few days ago. Any suggestions would be welcomed& greatly appreciated. And were going to have to get together with our $man to review contracts very closely.