You need to speak to your attorney, If they are not very experienced in handling short sales, you need to find someone that is. They will be able to guide you through the legalities and obligations of this sale.
Do you have a copy of the preliminary title? If you are using a realtor as your buyer's agent, that realtor can call the title company and request a copy of the preliminary title which should provide information on the liens against the property. Additionally, the title company may also have copies of the latest notices (of default, notice to sell at auction, etc) so that you will be up to speed on its status.
For most short sales I've written offers on, the lender clears the liens, pays for the selling expenses. So for you as the buyer to be asked to pay off an outstanding bill on a short sale sound fishy.
Do you have your own agent or did you use the listing agent? Either way, you need to immediately request a copy of whatever "insurance bill" they are claiming you must pay. Is this the first time it has been mentioned? How far along are you in the contract? Did you conclude attorney review? Was it brought up during the attorney review period?
Sometimes short sales will state in the listing and/or require the buyer to obtain the CO (Certificate of Occupancy, I've even seen some say that buyer is responsible for any open permits) but an insurance bill?? What type of insurance?
I would definitely demand documentation and speak to your lawyer about ASAP.
Good luck and please post updates as so many people post questions and we all give answers and I'm always curious as to what the outcome of the issues are.
Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential New Jersey Properties
West Essex Regional
973-239-7700 ext 132