Re: Major Problem With Note That I Hold! - Posted by JPiper
Posted by JPiper on April 11, 2000 at 18:31:42:
The old saying is ?The best offense is a good defense?.
In my case I ?assume? there may be a problem somewhere down the road, and therefore try to implement some ?protection? for my deal upfront. In the past I?ve made the comparison that a deal is a little like playing chess?.you have to think several moves in advance. Part of thinking several moves in advance is to anticipate possible problems, and set up written documents that help to protect you. A good example is that if a buyer waives the inspection, get a written acknowledgement of the waiver. Written disclosure is always a good idea, and in fact is a legal requirement in many states. Either way, I like to provide written disclosure on the condition of the property, and will go overboard in terms of my disclosure when I make it. What I?ve found is that buyer?s will typically still buy, and yet the disclosure helps you in a problem.
I was threatened with a lawsuit a couple of years ago regarding a house that I had sold 3 years prior, that ended up developing a leak in the roof. The buyer?s attorney sent me a letter demanding payment of $250K for failure to disclose the condition of the roof. (I had sold the house for $45K). In that particular case, the buyer had hired an inspector, who had done a 4 page written report on the house. I had made extensive disclosure concerning the condition of the house. And the buyer had obtained a VA loan, under which VA sent an appraiser out who ?wrote up? several conditions on the house, which I had repaired. I sent the letter from the buyer?s attorney to my lawyer, who called up the opposing attorney. The suit was dropped.
But to answer your question?.anyone can sue anybody?.and that means the buyer could sue you. Whether they are successful or not is another question. One thing to understand is that lawyers don?t take these cases on contingency unless they believe it?s open and shut. Whether they believe that in your case will depend on the documents that are in writing. Assuming this isn?t open and shut (it probably isn?t), then the chances are that this guy will have to come up with some dough to hire a lawyer. That?s usually where the men get separated from the boys, so to speak.
I would pursue your delinquent note. Find out where the first stands. Analyze whether this deal is worth pursuing in terms of a foreclosure. Only you can determine the answer to that. If it isn?t, understand one thing?you can pursue the note legally on it?s own, without foreclosing. The only problem is that if your buyer is a deadbeat, even if you get a judgment it may not be collectible.
Either way, I?d start my collection procedures now.