DEAR BENNY: I recently purchased a 5-year-old house and when I signed the residential purchase agreement there was a provision for the seller (a bank) to provide a one-year home warranty plan, for a price not to exceed $350. Since the close of escrow (also called settlement or closing in many states) and officially turning over the keys, I have not received the warranty.

My real estate agent essentially is saying that the warranty was never "officially" taken out (despite the agreement), and the listing agent is leaving the matter in the Realtor’s hands. I’ve been unsuccessful in bringing this to a resolution; do you have any suggestions? –Mike

DEAR MIKE: Yes, you should send a letter to the bank, and include a copy of the sales contact highlighting the warranty requirement. Send a copy to your state’s attorney general, your state’s banking commission and the United States Office of the Comptroller. That should do the trick.

However, my experience is that those warranties are not always worth the cost. You have to read the fine print because there are many loopholes. But since the bank has to pay for it, you might as well put some pressure on the bank.

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