Bidder upset after he's told home auction ended in tie

Record-breaking bidder upset after he's told home auction ended in tie

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Carl Hollier put in a record-breaking bid during one of Detroit Land Bank's most recent auctions. He thought the house was his, until the city said they are putting the property back on the auction block.

But, Hollier is not giving up without a fight.

He is taking legal action against the City of Detroit Land Bank over a stately, abandoned home on Chicago in the Boston Edison District. The property was attracting lots of attention even before it went up for auction last Friday. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr even seemed interested.

"I've been looking at a property over here on West Chicago Boulevard that I've been talking with the mayor about. In the interest of full disclosure, the emergency manager has no inside information; I've gotten no preferences; I'm bidding just like everybody else. I just want to be clear about that," Orr had said.

But Orr wasn't the one who ended up bidding and winning at www.buildingdetroit.org. That was Hollier, a father of four who is known around town DJ Invisible.

"Got an email confirmation, 'You're the highest bidder at 135 [thousand dollars]', looked at my screen, the time ran out. 'You're the winner. You win this item,'" says Hollier.

Hollier was thrilled, even though 135 thousand dollars is more than he wanted to spend, but all of his relatives live in the Boston Edison District and this is where he wants to raise his four children.

"There's no radiators in the house; a bunch of windows are missing; the plumbing is all screwed up; the floors are all buckled. I had a budget already made up for this house and I know that's where I could stop," Hollier says.

And it appeared that's where he won after a fierce bidding war with someone named TJeff.

"I'm excited. I do the happy dance, go get the kids, bring them to the house. Everybody's happy. Then, [I] get a call from the Land Bank and they're saying there's a tie," Hollier says.

A tie - with bidder TJeff.

Hollier was frustrated. After all, he has the confirmation that he's the winner. Then the Land Bank called back again.

"It went from them offering it to be a bid-off between me and this other person, to now we're going to open it up to the whole city because there was this computer glitch," Hollier says.

FOX 2's Amy Lange spoke with the mayor's chief of staff, Alexis Wiley. Lange reports Wiley told her, as hard as it is to believe, both men bid the exact same amount at the exact same time, and the system should have never notified Hollier he was the winner.  

The city released the bidding history on the property, saying that so many people were watching the bidding war it crashed the system and that someone else notified the city they had tried to bid above 135 thousand dollars and couldn't.

So, they'll do the bidding all over again on Friday.

That is, unless Hollier gets his injunction, which he says he plans to file for on Wednesday. He says this ramshackle house is his - and worth fighting for.

"It's a mess! But, it was going to be my mess because this is the neighborhood I want to raise my kids in," Hollier says.


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