Jewish World Review August 9, 2000 /8 Menachem-Av, 5760
A $1,500 car ... for $3,000
DEAR BRUCE: I don't have a whole lot of money to spend. I saw an ad for a car in the paper for $1,500. That was a lot of money, but I managed to raise it. I looked at the car, and it seemed to run fine. The guy selling it to me told me that he knew of nothing wrong with it. I gave him my $1,500, and he signed the title over to me.
Three days later, the transmission blew up. It's almost $1,500 to have the transmission fixed. I asked the guy for my money back, and he said that this was a casual sale and that he had no obligation to me. Can this be true? I thought I had three days to kill the deal. -- C.H., via e-mail
DEAR C.H.: I'm afraid not. The three-day right of recision applies only to businesses that conduct business away from their premises with the cost of the item being more than $50. Then the purchaser has three business days to walk away.
What you got involved in was just what you were told, a casual sale. Bought as is. Unfortunately for you, individual sellers are not obliged to offer any kind of a guarantee or warrantee. When the sale is conducted, that's the end of it. If this had been a dealer, things might have been different.
DEAR BRUCE: I'm tired of being a patsy and a sucker. Some of my friends have come to me with tears in their eyes, and in each case I have loaned them money. Not one of these guys has ever paid me back. What can I do to collect my money and how do I stop this from happening? -- L.C., via e-mail
DEAR L.C.: You stop it very simply by not doing it. Grow up and don't give into pressure and let your heart rather than your mind rule. As to the possibility of collecting from these folks, you can take them to small-claims court if you can prove that you did loan them the money.
The way to lose friends in a hurry, as you are coming to find out, is to loan them money. The reality, though, is these people are not the kinds of friends that you need to have anyway. Their lack of character is clear.
DEAR BRUCE: We are moving into our first home, and as I'm sure you can understand, money is tight. We are renting an apartment on a month-to-month basis because our lease expired six months ago. Promptly on the first of each month, we make our rent payment and have had no difficulty with the landlord.
We finally found a home that we could afford and are scheduled to close in two weeks. On the 15th of last month, we gave our landlord a 30-day notice. He now says that this is not good enough. Because our payments are due on the first, we had to have given him our notice before the first of the month. Since we told him on the 15th, we have to go to the end of the next month.
That means 15 days of empty apartment space that we will be paying for, which we can't afford. Is he right? -- N.R. Dubuque, Iowa
DEAR N.R.: He sure is. If your month-to-month tenancy was an extension of the old lease and the lease ran from the first to the 30th, then your month-to-month does as well. You must give him his notice prior to the first of the last month. In this case that would be the month that begins 15 days after you gave notice. Unfortunately that's the way it is. Conversely, if he wanted your apartment earlier than you wanted to give it up, the same notification principles would
Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).
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