What to do if lawyer is contacted on an as is private sale?

We sold our 9 year old camper

Asked on June 18, 2017 under Business Law, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is two-fold:
1) Did you know that the roof was rotted?
2) If so, was the rot discrenable to someone who viewed the camper?
When a sale is "as is," there is no recourse for the buyer (e.g. no refund or other claim for compensation) for anything but a latent (hidden) defect--one the buyer cannot reasonably perceive or discover pre-sale--which the seller in fact knew of but knowing of it, failed to disclose: failing to disclose a known but hidden defect is fraud. If you did not know of the defect/rot, you are not liable for any defects in an "as is" sale; or if you did know but it was visible so the buyers would have been aware of it, you would not be liable, either. 
So if contact by a lawyer, decide what to do (whether to refuse any compensation, to pay what they want, or to try to settle for some modest amount you are willing to pay, to avoid a fight or litigation) in light of the above, and whether or not you would be liable  if sued.


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