Our guest today was Joan Sullivan from Approval Reverse Mortgage. Joan talked about recent changes in reverse loans making them a bit more complicated to get qualified. She said a credit check is required because they want to make sure you stay current on taxes and insurance. Also, equity requirements have changed … meaning lesser amounts of total equity are available to borrow.  

Jamie and her husband reserved a car to use for vacation. In short, the car was not available when needed. Instead, they gave her a substitute, which was much smaller. It made the vacation less enjoyable. So, she wants to know what she should expect in compensation? The quick answer:  nothing. Our legal experts tell us that rental companies of all kinds … cars, trucks, equipment, outdoor events and others … all have contracts. Most of those contracts (if you take the time to really read them) have all kinds of “disclaimers”, which give them all kinds of leeway for not having the items available! Bottom line: you truly can not fully depend on a written contract for stuff - it’s that simple. If the item is very important, have a backup plan.

Dale wants to know about attic fans, as opposed to whole-house fans. That’s a very good topic, covered here.

Don is giving away two burial plots, complete with caskets. He wants to find someone in need, who would like side-by-side plots for their family. The plots are at Evergreen Memorial Park. All the recipient has to do is pay a modest “transfer fee” to the park. This is the real deal. If anyone is interested, please contact us.

Kira’s sewer line at the house she is renting occasionally backs up. She says raw sewage comes up from the drains in the kitchen, bath and laundry rooms. She wants to know if she can break the lease. Our experts tell us that health and safety concerns can constitute an uninhabitable place, according to most minimum standards of habitability (depending on your city). Kira is most likely protected from enduring this problem. Our experts say she should notify her landlord and demand it be fixed. If the landlord does not remedy the situation in a reasonable time, she can notify him that she is breaking the lease. This action is called a “constructive eviction”. However, she needs to research the process to be sure she follows the proper procedure for her jurisdiction.

Don bought temporary insurance - three months at a time - for a vacant home that is for sale in Florida. The policy was sold in three-month increments. He said the agent promised him a refund (in writing) of any unused portion of the premium when he sells the house. Now, Don is trying to collect on that promise. He said the insurance carrier has a minimum three-month span and does not offer refunds. We asked our insurance experts at Compass Insurance what happens when an agent makes a promise that is not in the policy? Compass says, the homeowner may have an enforceable contract with the agent and could sue him for the refund, or Don could make a claim against the agent’s “errors and omissions” insurance that most agencies carry on their employees.

James says he invented a nifty plumbing tool that does 17-jobs in one wrench. He says it involves all kinds of different attachments to accomplish the task at hand. Now he wants to know his next step. Our intellectual property expert, Attorney Mark Trenner, always emphasizes the need to protect yourself from those who may attempt to copy your invention. He says if it is truly a unique idea, you need to get it filed with the patent office to “establish you place in line”. Trenner recommends a quick patent search first, then a full description, followed by a “provisional” patent. That provisional patent is very quick and less-detailed than a full patent. In essence, it says, “I have thought of this product and want to patent it.” You then have one year to finish the process. Remember, the value of the provisional patent it that no one else can claim the invention, unless they got there first. We have scheduled James to visit the radio show to give us a peek at his product.

Sara is unhappy with FleetPros (auto repair shop) in Berthoud.  She said that around $4,000 worth of repairs she paid for turned out to be useless because they did not use proper parts and procedures.  We told her to get some independent opinions (preferably from our Referral List) so we could assess the situation.

Ray bought a vehicle from dealer four months ago. He’s upset because he found out it has previous accident damages that were not disclosed when he bought it. He said the CarFax was “clean”. He thinks someone should be responsible to him! We agree - and it’s possible HE IS RESPONSIBLE! You see, CarFax can only report what is reported to them. So, if someone had an accident and fixed a car and managed to do it all without having it reported, it would not show up at CarFax. It happens! However, if the dealer who sold it to him misrepresented it as never having an accident AND HE CAN PROVE IT, our experts tell us he may have a case against them. But only if they lied! Keep in mind … withholding information on an “as is” purchase is not lying. The buyer had every opportunity to have the car checked by independent experts who would’ve found the telltale signs of previous damage.