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Author Archives: Benny Kass

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Sloppy landowner stumped by the pump (access required)

I purchased vacant land (more than a half-acre) a little away from the city in a country living-style neighborhood. At the time of purchase, the lot was overgrown and mostly couldn't be accessed except in one corner where a pumping station existed. I did not obtain a survey; I just looked at the county records/maps and purchased the land.

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Remorse may leave no recourse (access required)

DEAR BENNY: What are the obligations of an escrow agent? I signed a real estate sales contract and gave the seller a $10,000 earnest money deposit. He was supposed to escrow those funds until closing. However, I decided not to ...

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For $1M, 2 bids are better; 3 better yet (access required)

I live in a 125-unit condominium. Recently, our board of directors signed a contract for almost $1 million to upgrade our elevators. I believe that the board did not get any bids and just went with one company. Is there any law requiring more than one bid on any one job, especially one as large as this? – Henry

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Not greener over the septic tank (access required)

When we sold our home in Wisconsin the septic system inspector noted the "septic drain field mottling" was too close to the top of the ground. In his report, he noted the septic system was operating properly but probably would not pass inspection. The buyer wanted us to replace the field with an engineered system.

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Stuck in a reverse-mortgage mess (access required)

My husband took out a reverse mortgage in 2005. I was 58 and he was 62 at the time. I had to give him a quitclaim deed, and later I was put back on the deed. We have contacted our lender and asked if I could be put on the reverse mortgage or refinance it. They said no to both. We have tried to refinance with other companies, but were told we would have to come up with at least $30,000 to do this!

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