Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2000 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5761
Maybe a mobile home
DEAR BRUCE: My daughter went through a very tough time, bad marriage, bad credit, etc. She
now has a job where she earns over $35,000 a year, has paid all of her bills, and has saved about $15,000.
She makes timely payments on her car loan, which was co-signed by me. She would like to find a house of her own. Unfortunately she can't afford one just yet.
We have suggested that she buy a used mobile home, which she could pay off in a few years and save money. She's reluctant to have us co-sign on a mortgage, feeling that it does nothing for her credit. We feel strongly that getting an apartment for another year for far more than the cost of a small mortgage is throwing money away. -- W.L., Milford, N.H.
DEAR D.W.: It isn't often that I suggest that someone buy a used mobile home since they tend not to hold value. On the other hand, if it would provide a decent place for her to live for several years while she gets her act together, and would allow her to save a little money on the side, this may very well be the way to go.
DEAR BRUCE: My live-in boyfriend/fiance of 10 years and I have recently split. He had added my name to a stock market account and made it a joint account. We lived together until July, when I asked him to leave. He requested that the broker take my name off the account. The compliance director informed me of the request and asked if I knew. I told him that my name had been forged. The broker froze the account of $220,000. My boyfriend is now suing me, trying to take away any rights that I might have. I'm hard-pressed to afford an attorney but will engage one if I am entitled to a share of this joint account. -- K.T., via e-mail
DEAR K.T.: I don't believe that anyone can tell you positively that you have an interest in the account, but I certainly would fight like crazy on this. He gave you this money by putting your name on the account without any conditions.
You didn't mention where you were living for this 10-year period. Does the state that you live in recognize common-law marriages? If so, you may have acquired some rights in this regard as well.
By all means, consult an attorney. The numbers are large enough to justify whatever hardship that might be necessary to get this done. I have to ask, however, why in the world would anyone live together for 10 years without solemnizing the event? I can understand six months or a year, but 10 years? Perhaps some readers would like to comment.
DEAR BRUCE: My daughter, who is the mother of two children, is getting a divorce. She is out of work now but will be able to make $40,000 to $45,000 a year. She has asked my wife and me to co-sign a loan for a house for her that is selling for $110,000. I'm retired, with a very modest retirement and Social Security, and my wife will retire either this year or next. She earns less than $2,000 a month. Do you think that it would be wise for us to co-sign for this house? We love our daughter, but I think that it is a lot for her to ask of us. -- W.V., via e-mail
DEAR W.V.: I'm with you. Your daughter is a grown-up. She made her own bed, and while I know that you would like to help her, to put your retirement in jeopardy is entirely too much for her to ask of you. Let her rent for a couple of years. Besides, the likelihood of her being able to qualify for a house now is slim. Give her a few years to save up some money; then she can go out and buy a house. It seems to me that children have no right to ask their parents to put their retirement in jeopardy just so they can have that which they have not
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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