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Asked by Pamela, Omaha, NE Tue Jan 29, 2008

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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Tue Jan 29, 2008
Wouldn't something like this be covered by homeowner's insurance??
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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Jan 30, 2008
Have you thought about trying to sell this as a short sale to a builder who could stablize the area for a structure?
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Carol Andres…, , Pittsburgh, PA
Wed Jan 30, 2008
I met a family a few years ago who had this same problem in Western PA. The house was about 50+ years old and all of a sudden, one side of the street decided to slide over the hillside. All of the proper authorities (local and state) visited the site and at that time, no one was able to determine why the properties were moving after all those years. Since a cause could not be determined, insurance would not cover it. The homeowners (maybe 5 or 6 homes) did not qualify to make new purchases because of the existing loans on their current homes. I believe that all of the families were looking for rentals until they could come up with a solution on what to do. The last I heard, the USGS was involved.

I guess the purpose of my reply is to tell you that there are other people out there that have had something terrible like this happen. Don't give up.

I don't know about Omaha, but in Pennsylvania, a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement is not common like it is in California.
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Stacey A. Ma…, , Westfield, MA
Tue Jan 29, 2008
Hi Pamela, rotten, rotten results! I read through Keith's answer with interest and I have seen other CA agents mention the National Hazard Disclosure he is referencing - never heard of it before out here in the Northeast. I am afraid it may not be as "National" a disclosure as the name implies. That being said, he has a good point about O & E insurance. In both Ma and CT our home inspectors carry it. I also think he is right about not giving up - lots of important people signed off on that - find the right attorney and he will know how to find the right pocket. Let us know how it's resolved, hang in there, Stacey
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2008
I am sorry for your loss. I do not know your market so please take this advice with a grain or two of salt.

A wise attorney told me, "there is more than one way to skin a cat" and he was right then, as he is now.

First, in the sale of a property (at least in California) is a document called a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. This discloses all known faults and issues associated with the property. Whomever was responsible for developing the property (meaning bedore there was a house there, there was dirt. Who developed the dirtl did the grading, the soild analysis, etc.? Somebody did, and that somebody has errors and omissions insurance.

Second, the fact the your home is no longer inhabitable (meaning that the govering agency has pulled the occupancy permit) is significant. In order for an occupancy permit, certain criteria must be met. If the home is not habitable, then somebody is at fault somewhere. It is not as though you decided not to pay the rent, or you decided to make the property uninhabitable.

So, my recommendation is to talk with more attorneys. Somebody will want to take your case (IMHO). Also, are any othe homes affected? Go down to the city engineer, talk with the dept. of neigbhorhood services, right letters to the mayor, city council, county board of supervisors.

The only way you lose is if you don't do anything. SO DO SOMETHING. DO IT LONG ENOUGH, THEN SOMEONE WILL NOTICE.
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