Home defects’ late discovery opens can of worms

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DEAR BOB: My husband and I sold our home in July 2005. At that time, the buyer requested additional time for inspections, and multiple inspections were conducted. The buyer requested a credit back, which we granted. Now more than a year later, the buyer's lawyer has sent us a letter accusing us of nondisclosure and is demanding $85,000. The items the buyer accuses us of withholding were not discovered by any of the inspections, and my husband and I knew nothing of their existence. We are now involved in mediation, which is costing us lawyer fees and time. Our lawyer says that usually all named parties (inspectors, Realtors, and us) contribute to the settlement. My husband and I are outraged by the process. We do not agree to any settlement. What prevents any buyer with remorse from accusing the seller of nondisclosure? --Connie S. DEAR CONNIE: The situation you describe is called a "shakedown." You are the victims. Mediation is usually a simple one-day procedure and should not be expe...