DEAR BRUCE: I have been a regular reader of your column and have learned a great deal. One of the things you say is to always be represented when buying a house. I'm assuming you mean when a mortgage is in place. We are buying a condominium and plan to pay cash for it. We are buying directly from the developing company. Since we are paying cash, is an attorney vital in this situation? -- Reader, via email
DEAR READER: Has a cat got whiskers? Of course you need an attorney, whether you have a mortgage in place or are paying cash.
You are spending a substantial amount of money in a real transaction. Even if you pay cash, you will be signing a number of documents agreeing to terms that the condominium association imposes, etc.
For the tiny amount of money that the attorney will cost, it is to your advantage to hire one, if for nothing else as an insurance policy. If something does go wrong, your recourse would be against the attorney, who undoubtedly has insurance.
DEAR BRUCE: Is there a way to keep one's home after it has gone to a foreclosure sale? It has been a rough year, but things are better now. -- Reader, via email
DEAR READER: Once the wheels have passed a certain point on the foreclosure course, it is almost impossible to put the process in reverse. However, you should speak with the lender. Most lenders have no desire to foreclose, because they could take a beating unless you have substantial equity.
You could, of course, have someone bid in your name at the foreclosure sale. But that person would need substantial assets, because ordinarily the buyer has to come up with the cash in 30 days.
Send questions to email@example.com or to Smart Money, P.O. Box 7150, Hudson, FL 34674. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns.
Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided. The Bruce Williams Show can now be heard at www.brucewilliams.com on the Made in America Broadcast Network.