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Old 04-08-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Involving an Attorney prior to purchase

Curious, in looking to buy our first RV is dawned on me that I would never buy a house with out an Attorney reviewing contracts etc. What about handing over 200,000 or 300,000 bucks to a dealer without someone reviewing financing agreements, purchase contracts, deposit requests and delivery performance.

In reading a post yesterday about a person buying an Entegra and after finding issues during the PDI that the dealer said would be handled they went through with the contract. Those issues were not handle despite dealer promises and now the coach is at the factory and he has been without it for 2 or 3 months. Would an Attorney review at purchase have helped out.

The other posts I see our about people showing up only to find out that the delivery is delayed or the terms have changed. There is also the issue of deposits, 30 to 40K upfront is not unreasonable if the coach has to be ordered, but what if the PDI is a flop or there is an unreasonable delay in delivery. When buying a B&M this money is in escrow, when buying an RV it is in the dealers cash register.

So my thinking is that 1,000 bucks upfront may help and if nothing else put the dealer on notice that a detached party is looking over everyone's shoulder.

I am not looking for a problem and anticipate that the dealers I am in contact with are not in business to have problems. At the same time I know that we have all seen the posts that read like a bit of a horror story. Then there are the contacts for financing and extended service contacts.

I know to check consumer affairs, BBB etc. Just looking for thoughts on taking that extra step and extra set of eyes.

Any thought appreciated.

Regards,

Jim
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
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Do you hire an attorney when you buy a truck or car?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
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Wow, 90 views and no posts. Peeps must be scared of this one. LOL Well, if you can buy a new Entegra good for you. My sis has one of them and they are super nice motorhomes. Be sure to get a big discount off list as they fall under the same pricing guidelines as most other brands. In otherwords, don't pay full-boat retail.

I'm no lawyer but have as much trial experience and negotiating experience as most lawyers in the country (ran the legal department for a collection agency), and I've bought and sold a lot of stuff over the years....so, here's my itty bitty two cents. LOL.

If you're not saavy with making purchase contracts then have an attorney at hand that you can call if you need him. Have him review contracts if you're not sure what they mean. Purchase contracts for RV's fall under standard guidelines by most states and are pretty much boilerplate.

If you have a problem that is the time to call on him to help you if you think you're not getting the resolve that you expect. I personally would not spend the money as I feel comfortable with legal contracts and I don't have a problem with understanding what they mean. And I know how to get proper attention if it comes down to that. One time I had to litterally threaten to sue a title company to insure around a lein that popped up on a RE sale - that's what I paid for a title policy for. So that got them moving and the deal closed.

IMO, it's all about understanding what your rights and obligations are and if a party to the contract isn't holding up their end of the bargain then you can seek appropriate remedies. Lawyers charge lots of money to play this role and a saavy consumer can do this themselves. They do add some gravity to the situation if and when that becomes necessary. But that doesn't mean they can perform miracles either - sometimes things just get FUBAR or SNAFU and it takes time to sort it out. If you have a lawyer doing it you're on the hook for a LOT of $$ and in many cases there's nothing they can do. But they'll sure send you a bill for whatever they are doing. Every letter, every call, is some hundreds of dollars an hour.



EDIT: Okay, there's some great free legal advice. Now send me $500 okay?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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You have to personally be comfortable with the contract you are agreeing to... If you see something you don't like, ask to have it removed. If there's something not on the contract that you want in there, have it put in. If after you get to the point where you are happy, sign the contract. If not, walk away. It's amazing how many deals I've walked away from only to complete them later to my satisfaction. After all, you are the buyer and it's your money. You control the deal. Just be sure you understand the contract.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
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I think if your spending 100's of thousands of dollars you'd be a fool not to have one.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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FWIW, I hired a property/title atty. to purchase my unit, due to the PO had a loan with an out of state bank. I wanted to ensure that my cash/Check handed over yielded the MH at the end of the day in my name with a clear title.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:55 AM   #7
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First of all let me disclose I am married to an attorney. Second I am an advocate for a union and spend a lot of time defending cases in Arbitrations so I am very very well grounded in contract issues. I always let me wife review any contracts. Not just because I am married but because she has had the training and experience to spot things I would overlook and she knows the applicable laws. I have the knowledge to interpret contracts but do not have the knowledge of state laws. I also am not required to go to several classes a year to be informed of updates to various laws. I would agree to spend the money getting an attorney. The money spent on an attorney is pretty small in relation to the purchase price. I am not going to endorse a product but would point out that my wife is retired and decided to become a consultant with Legal Zoom. It allows her to continue to work and keeps her legal talents active. She speaks to clients over the phone and she can basically do it no matter where we happen to be camping in the motor home as long as we have computer access. She has a hot spot on her phone so she can do that anywhere there is a cell tower. I am mentioning this because this is similar to what she does with Legal Zoom. She has people make appointments to have her review contracts when they make purchases. She has people who are opening a business make an appointment. She reviews the documents then speaks with them about what she sees in the paperwork and answers any questions they have. I really do not know what it costs to join Legal Zoom or any of the terms of this service. I also believe there are other companies that offer this kind of service besides Legal Zoom. My point is this might be a good way to get an attorney involved with the purchase without having the higher costs associated with hiring an attorney. I know that with my wife most of the questions are resolved in the time frame of one phone call. If there is more work that needs to be done such as writing letters, drafting contracts, modifying contracts etc. The person hires her to do that work. She gives Legal Zoom customers a pretty hefty discount from her normal hourly rates.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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The problems you have dealing with an attorney can be a lot bigger than trying to get a toilet fixed under warranty. I can take care of my own problems.....
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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^^And there you go...easy peasy.

LegalZoom is a great service for DIY legal help. I did not realize they had legal consultation backing it up.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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Many dealers would run like the wind when you mention having an attorney review the purchase agreement. A good reason not to do business with that dealer. Most dealers use a pretty standard purchase agreement that gives them all the rights and the buyer nothing if there is a problem. For a Big purchase I alert my attorney that paperwork is coming to him. we usually end up with him adding an amendment to the sales contract. Specifically stating delivery date, condition & inspection, repairs to be made, products or accessories to be part of the purchase, weather items will be repaired, replaced & installed, refund of deposit for any reason if dealer has NOT met the terms of the sale or hasn't prepped the MH. And important is removing the clause requiring the buyer to agreeing to "Binding Arbitration" if any part of the sale becomes an issue. It has been the experience of many that when you drive off the lot you got all you are going to get from the dealer, after all they have the money and you may have a problem. Promises don't get things fixed. Get everything in writing, get everything fixed and don't take the vehicle until you are satisfied that all the terms have been met! safe travels.... ed
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:39 AM   #11
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In my lifetime of owning and operating several businesses and buying and selling commercial real estate in 18 different states I have come to the conclusion that lawyers tend to screw things up more than they help.

Here is a novel concept, contracts are not hard to read, why don't you read the contract and see if there is anything you object to. No one looks out for you better than . . . YOU.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenNSteph View Post
I have come to the conclusion that lawyers tend to screw things up more than they help.

Here is a novel concept, contracts are not hard to read, why don't you read the contract and see if there is anything you object to. No one looks out for you better than . . . YOU.
I've been a banker for over 30 years, involved in hundreds of kinds of transactions both large and small... And I totally agree!
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:18 AM   #13
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I don't think an attorney would be helpful in most RV purchase problems. I don't hear much about contract problems - most of the issues occur when buyers accept the rig after a cursory walk-through/PDI and/or accept the seller's promise that all will be made right after the sale is completed. Your attorney won't/can't help with that - he/she will only ask you if you are accepting it in its present condition.

Think about it - when you buy a house, does the attorney walk through it with you and point out defects that need correction?

The attorney will probably advise you not to pay until you are satisfied that the terms have been met, but it's still up to you to make sure all your terms are documented in the sale paperwork and, at delivery, that they have been fulfilled.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenNSteph View Post
In my lifetime of owning and operating several businesses and buying and selling commercial real estate in 18 different states I have come to the conclusion that lawyers tend to screw things up more than they help.

Here is a novel concept, contracts are not hard to read, why don't you read the contract and see if there is anything you object to. No one looks out for you better than . . . YOU.
I have heard a lot of stories about people with this attitude. Every one of the stories has a similar thread. I did this and now how can I fix it.
The problem is not what you read it is what should have been included in the contract. What language was deliberately or accidentally left out. I go to hearings several times a year. A lot of those hearings hang on literally one statement or one clause. I lost a case where the parties I represented lost 1.6 million dollars because someone earlier in the case because someone forgot to do one small thing. A lot of how many problems you have depends on the attorney you choose. Getting one to work with you is vital and getting one that understands the subject matter is important. You would not get a doctor that was a GP to do heart surgery on you. You do not want an attorney that specializes in patent law to help you with your real estate or sales contracts.
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