Does verbal statement take precedence over written contract?

Bid on property at auction and was winning bidder. Put 10% down payment down on day of sale. After attempting to secure financing, found out that a recent error on credit report had dropped score nearly 100pts which has led to 3 bank denials. Contract has a failure of financing contingency statement in it (which states that we just need written proof of denials) but was told because an announcement was made on day of sale that the 10% down was “nonrefundable” that this doesnt matter. Does the written contract and its terms not take precedence over anything that may have been announced?

Asked on July 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally sepaking yes it does take precedence over an oral statement and it can not alter the terms of the contract.  But did you sign anything before you bid?  Check with that.  I would bring your documentation to an attorney to review and write you a letter requesting the return of the down payment.  Good luck.

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