Can a bank be sued if they don’t keep their end of a cash for keys contract?

I was kicked out of my home due to it being foreclosed on after my landlord died. The bank agreed to give me money towards moving expenses if I “broom swept” it andwas out by agreed date. I did. However I left things such as an air conditioner and old light fixtures (in basement) that was there before we moved in. Since then the bank came in and is picking at the little things and even said we couldn’t get the money until we did everything they want, such as taking out the things from the house, removing the swing set from the yard outside and hauling it all off. That’s not in the contract. We moved over 2 moths ago.

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement between you and the bank, it can be enforced with a lawsuit, if necessary (a lawsuit is, unfortunately, the only way to enforce it if the bank does not voluntarily pay). That means that if you honored all your obligations, the bank has to honor its and pay. It can hold you to doing everything you agreed to do, but can't add additional requirements. If you feel you have done everything in the contract, then you could, as stated, bring a lawsuit for the money. You may wish to consider suing in small claims court, where you can represent yourself (no lawyer fees), the court costs are lower, and cases also tend to move faster; alternately, if enough money is at stake, you may wish to hire an attorney to represent you. Good luck.


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