Champaign, IL asked in Banking and Estate Planning for Illinois

Q: Can a bank sell a vehicle from an estate sale without entering in the estate auction for everyone to bid?

My mom‘s fiancé recently passed away in September. He had a 2009 Lincoln MKS that I was driving up until two months ago when I took it to the bank for them to put it in the auction with the intention of buying it back. They told me that I had to wait until the auction opened up and bid on the vehicle if I wanted to purchase it after I put an offer down. I have an email from the banker saying “the vehicles are going to be auctioned off. I have your (or your daughter’s) bid on the black Lincoln. I can place that for you if you would like when the auction happens or send you the link so you can bid yourself on it.” Found out today that they sold it without even entering it in the auction and not giving me a chance to purchase it, None of the family members bought it so can the bank legally do this? I’m from Illinois.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wilmette, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: If you turned title to the car over to the bank, then yes - they own the car and can do with it what they want. Unless you have a written agreement with the bank that obligates them to put the car up for auction so you could bid on the vehicle, the bank had no requirement to do that.

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