Home Buying in 20784>Question Details

Meggy91281, Home Owner in 20784

I bought a fully inspected house 1year ago which is now uninhabitable due to majorplumbing issues not covered by warrantee.Can we sue for nondisclore?

Asked by Meggy91281, 20784 Wed Mar 2, 2011

We have some serious plumbing issues beneath the slab and the driveway that causes all of our waste water to back up into our basement through the main drain, and flood our laundry/living area. The house cleared inspection. The only thing that was fishy about the basement at the time was a little mold on some drywall that they seller had to remove based on what was assumed to be a leaky pipe from an upstairs bathroom, which was also repaired. However, looking at pics from our walk-through, it is evident that carpeting had been removed around the same area that floods now, and signs of some drying/cleaning powder scattered around the main drain. We, and our inspector, could not have known this was due to a major plumbing issue because it was a dirty, unfinished basement. But in light of our current problem the pictures speak volumes. Do we have a case here for nondisclosure? BTW, the owner of our home is a bank- it was a foreclosure.

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8
Lesley Beever’s answer
You need to consult a real estate attorney to ascertain what your legal rights are. No real estate sales agent can give you legal advice. The attorney that you go to will review all the pertinent paper work of the transaction including the home inspection report and advise you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
Foreclosure are always sold "as-is". The bank hasn't lived in the house and certainly can't attest to any past or potential future issues. Likely, their only contact with the house has been through a real estate agent or appraiser who is representing them. Unfortunately this would be an issue for you to handle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Since you are asking a legal question, it's in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, he/she can best advise as to any available options.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
We as agents cannot give any legal advice...Your best bet is to contact a local real estate attorney in your area.

Good luck,
Nicholas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
The question is was there non-disclosure? Have you found the workmen who did the work that the seller is not disclosing? Does your expert say t here were issues that were being covered up? What was on the property disclosure, some states don't even make a disclosure but rather claim no knowledge and leaves it up the the buyers to inspect until satisfied. The burden of proof will be on you to prove or show the seller was not truthful on the disclosure form.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
Meggy,
As others have said, you'll need a legal opinion as to whether this could be successful or not. Proving a bank, who never occupied the home had knowledge and failed to disclose would be at the crux. The other option would be the listing agent who, if the leak happened during the time it was listed, would be obligated to disclose a material fact affecting the value and condition of the home.
One other thought I would suggest for future buyers of bank owned homes, consider trying to contact the previous owner and neighbors. They may or may not be helpful, but if they were it could have avoided this problem.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
Check with a lawyer.

Anyone can sue anybody for anything. So, sure, you can sue. The question is whether you're likely to prevail.

As Michael says, it was likely sold in "as is" condition. Further, if you claim nondisclosure, can you show that the seller (the bank) was aware of the issues and, thus, was even in a position to disclose? For instance, perhaps the listing agent was the one who removed the carpeting and scattered the powder around the drain. In fact, it probably was. Did the bank know? However, that does open up the possibility that the agent had some responsibility in the matter.

Again, contact a lawyer.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
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If this was a bank owned property then most likely it was sold 'as is / where is' with no guarantees. Chances are you signed a books worth of papers that spells out 'as is' in great detail.

Had you purchased the home from an owner who had lived in the property, you might have a case. But it's very unlikely you would be successful in court if you were to sue the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
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