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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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You wheeze at the fees, but don’t knock the stock (access required)

My dad used to say, "The reason so many members of Congress and so many bankers are alive today is because it's illegal to shoot them." If you are depositing a check from the Bank of Iran, the Bank of Nigeria or the Bank of North Korea, I can understand "11 business days to clear." But you deposit a check from Monkey's Eyebrow, Ky. or Cuba, Kan. any morning of any day (except Saturday or Sunday), and it clears electronically at 2 p.m. that same day. If your bankster tells you differently, he/she is bloody dissembler.

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One weak plus one weak equals too weak (access required)

I recall that in 1997, the pudding-heads at the Federal Trade Commission put the kibosh on a proposed merger of Office Depot (ODP-$3.95) and Staples (SPLS-$13.25) because it feared the power of these two big-box stores. ODP and OfficeMax (OMX-$11.69) is a merger of two weak companies with a decade of declining revenues, cash flows, book values, earnings and share prices.

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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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Hunting for vacation home loan can be frustrating (access required)

The hottest seasons for vacation home sales are spring and summer. You may now be planning such a purchase, but be aware of the challenge you may face when shopping for a mortgage loan. Many vacation-home buyers are finding tougher underwriting requirements and other obstacles when seeking a financing loan, tougher than loans to finance primary-residence homes.

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