Road easement could be lost if not protected

DEAR BOB: I share a private road easement with twoneighbors. A new neighbor bought a foreclosed house and took down the originalfence to build a new one about 4 feet into the roadway easement, thus narrowingthe road. I have heard it is very hard and expensive to fight easementdisputes. What should I do? –Dorothy R.

DEAR DOROTHY: Presuming the road easement is recorded againstall three property titles, one owner cannot alter those rights such as byextending his fence into the easement area. If you and the other neighbor allowit to continue, he might gain a permanent prescriptive easement to continueusing that area as his own.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

I trust you tried being nice to the offending new owner, butwithout results. To protect your easement rights, you and the other neighborshould get together to hire a local real estate attorney.

Even if a lawsuit must be filed against the offending neighbor,this case sounds like an easy one to reach a court-supervised settlement. Butif you do nothing, your easement rights could be greatly diminished.


DEAR BOB: My sister and I jointly own the house where ourelderly parents live. It has been a very good investment and a good home forour parents. But I could use some of the equity in the house for tuitionpayments for schooling my three children. Any suggestion how to get the equityout while allowing my parents to keep it as their home? –Rob L.

DEAR ROB: Either refinance the current mortgage to take cashout, or obtain a new home equity loan. Of course, your co-owner sister wouldhave to agree and you should work out a written agreement with her about yourpaying the increased payments.


DEAR BOB: I recently refinanced my home loan to get cashout, to lower my interest rate, and to get a better mortgage company. My oldmortgage company charged me a $4,000 prepayment penalty when I refinanced withanother lender. To my shock, I learned my new mortgage has been sold andassigned to my dreaded old mortgage company with the bad customer service. Do Ihave any recourse regarding the prepayment penalty? –Scott R.

DEAR SCOTT: Sorry, there is no way to prevent the assignmentsale of your new mortgage in the secondary mortgage market. Just because yourold nasty lender bought your loan from the originating lender, there is norequirement your prepayment penalty must be refunded.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “Pros and Cons ofToday’s Five Best Real Estate Profit Opportunities,” is now available for$5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet delivery at Questions for this columnare welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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