A friend in need might not have her financial house in order
A friend of mine is a fellow with a real heart for older folks. He took care of an elderly neighbor for many years because she had no family. It came as a real shock when, following her death, her lawyer informed him that the woman had left everything to him. This included a small bank account and her house, which was in dire need of repair. He is a contractor by trade, so he immediately set to work to get it ready to sell.
He was not prepared for the next shock: she had gotten a reverse mortgage several years prior to her death. She had been living on the money from the mortgage and had left him a house whose equity was almost totally eaten up by the mortgage.
By the time everything was over, he barely made enough money to pay for the expenses he had incurred while fixing up the house. It was only the search by the title company that revealed that there was a mortgage on the property; she had no paperwork in the house that indicated it was anything but paid for and he assumed that it was free and clear of encumbrances.
Oops. Perhaps he should have checked things out more carefully. He would have still taken the house most likely, but he would have watched his expenses more carefully when getting ready to sell the house. By doing so, he would have probably eked out a small profit or would have at least had a more comfortable expense-versus-money-received margin at the end of the day.
Do you have a similar tale of woe to share with my readers? I would love to hear from you and to include your story (without names being mentioned) in my next book.