Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 1999 /23 Kislev, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
David Corn
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Robert Samuelson
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports
Weekly Standard



My neighbor won't maintain even a modicum of civility -- DEAR BRUCE: To call my neighbor irresponsible would be a compliment. For years, we have had to call the police, health authorities and others just to get him to maintain a modicum of civility. The day before yesterday, my car was sitting -- properly parked -- on my property. He came out of his driveway like a bat out of you know where, couldn't stop, and wound up coming about 5 feet up my driveway nicking my back fender. It's not a bad ding, but the body shop quoted the damage to be as much as $300. When I asked my neighbor about his insurance, he told me -- with a laugh -- to go ahead and sue him. "Are you going to sue me for that little bit of money?" he taunted, "I'm not giving this to my insurance company, and I don't have to tell you who they are." What can I do? --- A READER

DEAR READER: He is correct that he doesn't have to tell you who the insurance company is, but that shouldn't slow you down. You can start an action against him in small claims court for the amount of money that you have lost. To do this will cost you very little money. If he chooses to defend himself without the insurance company, fine -- it should only help your side. If he turns it over to his insurance company, the likelihood is they will negotiate a settlement with you given the facts involved. Don't play dead -- go get the sucker!

DEAR BRUCE: You keep telling people to "get a lawyer" every time someone is buying or selling real estate. However, I have not heard one single solitary argument that says I should spend $500 of my hard-earned money on an attorney. I am smart enough to figure it out for myself. Give me one reason, and I will apologize. -- L.T., via e-mail

DEAR L.T.: Get ready to apologize, tiger. When you go to a closing as a purchaser, you will sign your name at least two dozen times, maybe more. I will pay your expenses to my part of the world and present to you the typical closing papers, and if you can explain what every paper is for, what it says, what conditions are imposed, then I will write a public apology to you. I don't believe that you will be able to do it. Want to take the shot? These are papers that people sign everyday with the attitude of "just sign it; it doesn't matter". If it doesn't matter, why do the papers exist to begin with? Of course they matter, and there's one thing that every document has in common: it was drawn up by an attorney who is protecting her client's position, not yours.

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).


12/01/99:Long-distance rentals a bad idea
11/29/99: Mortgage strategy A-OK
11/18/99: Students can work and learn
11/16/99: Value is what will sell
11/11/99: Y2K: No big deal for real estate
11/08/99: Real life is tough luck
11/03/99: The right time to cash a savings bond
11/01/99: Slow road for savings accounts
10/29/99: What do you want from insurance?
10/27/99: You have a right to see your tax forms!
10/25/99: Why own a house at 65?
10/22/99: Online fine, but CDs?
10/20/99: Love, honor -- and separate credit
10/18/99: Find the value of your stocks
10/15/99: Property lien prevents trade
10/13/99: Clear up debt, only then tie the knot
10/11/99: If it ain't broke...
10/04/99: Should I stick with the company IRA?
10/04/99: Get a financial education!
10/01/99: Insurance: Not much one person can do
09/30/99: Lost tickets are lost cash
09/29/99: Trusting only one financial planner
09/27/99: Adult children should help out
09/24/99: Tips for first-time home buyers
09/21/99: Use the rule of 72s!
09/17/99: Legal strategy can be a pain
09/15/99: Teen drivers drive up insurance
09/13/99: Always use an attorney!
09/10/99: Whose taxes are they, anyway?
09/08/99: How do I roll over my 401(k)?
09/03/99: How can I work out my IRS payments?
09/01/99: When your company can't pay you
08/30/99: Beware of shady viatical investments
08/26/99: Landlords vary on security deposits
08/25/99: Educational IRAs must be spent on education
08/23/99: Finding out the value of old stocks
08/20/99: How to get an FHA refund
08/19/99: 100 percent financing is a scam
08/16/99: Will I have to pay a capital gains tax?
08/16/99: Thinking about PMI
08/13/99: Short-term mutual funds a-OK
08/11/99: It's your job to shop around
08/10/99: Sometimes, roots need to be uprooted
08/09/99: 'Pre-approved' doesn't mean a thing
08/06/99: Only you can determine your investments
08/04/99: Bank IRA the lowest-risk option
08/03/99: Reverse mortgages good for the elderly
08/02/99: Get the survey BEFORE you buy the house!
07/28/99: Get a lawyer -- it's worth it!
07/27/99: If it ain't broke...

©1999, NEA