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Old 04-05-2007, 12:55 PM   #1
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mold problem, illegal?


I recently bought a repo home with known mold issues. It was bought "AS IS". My contractor and I have been ripping it apart are finding signs that mold was simply covered up with new insulation and drywall by the bank. It seems to be worse that one could visibly see. Inside one wall in sharpie it is written "insulate and cover" right over a severe mold spot, we pulled brand new insulation out. I can't imagine that is legal.

He claims that his mother bought an AS IS house and despite that, was able to sue the bank to get mold remediation costs ($10,000).

Anyone have any experience/insight?

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Old 04-05-2007, 01:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by elementx440 View Post
I recently bought a repo home with known mold issues. It was bought "AS IS". My contractor and I have been ripping it apart are finding signs that mold was simply covered up with new insulation and drywall by the bank. It seems to be worse that one could visibly see. Inside one wall in sharpie it is written "insulate and cover" right over a severe mold spot, we pulled brand new insulation out. I can't imagine that is legal.

He claims that his mother bought an AS IS house and despite that, was able to sue the bank to get mold remediation costs ($10,000).

Anyone have any experience/insight?
I don't have any experience, But I would suggest you go and see a lawyer about all this.
Take pictures. Hold off repairs until you get some appropriate legal advice....
Even though the conditions stated as is, there could be an issue regarding misrepresentation....

(BTW- Do you know for sure that the bank was the one who did the 'cover-up' work and not the owner trying to sell prior to foreclosure?)

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Old 04-05-2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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mold problem, illegal?


Well neighbors told me the house was vacant for 2-3 years. Just about all the insulation around the leaky windows is ruined and gross. This insulation is light puff and pink, looks pretty new to me. It can't be 3 years old. Someone put it there (the bank!).
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:24 AM   #4
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mold problem, illegal?


AtlanticWB Const. is absolutely correct.
Stop all repairs, uncover more mold where you suspect it, photograph and document what you have found (especially that writing), and take it all to an attorney.
You can't tell from how dry or pink insulation is as to when it was installed. I would suspect the former owner, not the bank. I very highly doubt that any bank would commit fraud over one house, although some nitwit individual employee might.
Mold is a major, major issue in real estate now, and can actually render some properties uninsurable and therefore worthless, no matter what is owed on them.
See an attorney immediately. "As-Is" does NOT mean anything deliberately covered up...that is fraud.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:47 PM   #5
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Aren't all houses sold as is? If they advertise it that way it would simply mean they won't fix any problem you find on a home inspection. That doesn't mean they can misrepresent what they are selling.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:21 AM   #6
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I've been a fulltime real estate broker for more than 20 years, and in my opinion, there really isn't any such thing as "As-Is" even when it's advertised like that and "As-Is" language is inserted in a contract signed by all parties.
EVERYTHING in real estate legally can be re-negotiated, even up to and at the closing table. if both parties are willing.
However, once you close, problems are yours to deal with, period - UNLESS there has been fraud such as an obvious deliberate cover-up like this case. In most states now, it is mandatory for sellers and their agents to fully disclose in writing (usually in a state form) all known defects and defects that they reasonably should have known about.
Get a lawyer pronto. I bet this goes back to the original owner.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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I contacted a personal friend who is an attorney, she agreed to take the case (if there is one) on a contingency (there goes 33% ). She stated the
ol' caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) but said that AS-IS really only applies to conditions that are readily visible by a proper inspection. You can't go looking behind walls until you buy it though... So she said I still may have a case.

I may even write a letter myself and ask politely, I'm a firm believer in the old honey over vinegar motto.... that worked for my contractor's mother.

Well here's some pics. I don't know, I guess I'd have to prove the insulation was installed less than 3 years ago. I dunno...







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