Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

a bill for services not provided

galdongaldon Registered User regular
might be a long story on this one.

about a year ago, a friend of mine's father passed away. she was living with him at the time and since the house was left to be split between her and her brother she had to move out, as her brother insisted on selling it and splitting the sale price.

her uncle apparently works in the field of home repair, and offered to inspect the house she was looking at. he said it looked ok, and just needed some work which he could do for her.

so, they come to an agreement that he would repair her house, and she would pay him $3,000 biweekly plus materials until he finished.

this was a bad idea. instead of working on her house at all quickly he dragged his heels hard, soaking up as much money as possible. he started spending more and more time on the phone talking to other clients while at her house, and eventually stopped coming at all.

the house was not only unfinished; but due to things being taken apart and a multitude of 'newly discovered' problems, the house is in almost worse shape than it was in to begin with.

we feel like he scammed her, and that he may have lied about the inspection to get her to buy the house due to it being a gold mine for him. she paid a bit over $26,000 in total.

we decided not to try going after a refund though, because it could have lead to a long legal battle and we are not sure if it is worth it.

Its been a few months since then, and her uncle this morning shows up unannounced to hand her a bill for another $5,000 for stuff he 'forgot to charge her' and says she has til the end of the week to pay him.

what would be the best course of action here? my first instinct says 'don't pay!' but I don't know what to suggest to her beyond that.

Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)

Posts

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Get a lawyer and stop discussing it in public forums.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
    see317WassermeloneSkeithJHunzzagdrob
  • finalflight89finalflight89 Registered User regular
    Seriously. Your sister already put down $26,000 - it's time to lawyer up.

    see317EsseeJHunzzagdrob
  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    The only thing more expensive than a lawyer would be not having a lawyer.

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    Consult with a lawyer, have them write a letter saying something along the lines of "if you bring a claim against us, we'll bring a counter claim against you, so why don't you just walk away with the $25k and let's let bygones be bygones."

    You won't hear about it again. Any contested claim is going to cost him at least what he says you owe anyway.

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2012
    I'm actually going to disagree with the advice to lawyer up. All he's done (recently) is present a bill so far. What matters is what he does next if it's not paid. And it's likely he won't do anything if you ignore him because he's just fishing for some extra money from someone who let him get away with it before. If he's stupid enough to take her to small claims, a lawyer shouldn't be necessary and it should be a pretty straightforward case. If he tries to put a lien on the house claiming he wasn't paid for services rendered, again a lawyer shouldn't be necessary. My parents had this happen with a shitty roofer they hired to work on my sister's roof when she decided to sell. He did shoddy work and refused to fix it when the shoddy work was pointed out. He then tried to put a lien on the house for the unpaid balance, but when they explained to the city what had actually happened they didn't hesitate to refuse the lien and forced him to refund the amount they'd paid down before work started. It was a hassle, but it didn't require a lawyer.

    What you should do (assuming he's actually licensed for the work he was supposed to do) is report him to the appropriate licensing agency for the city/county/state he did the work in. But a lawyer isn't really going to be cost effective in assisting with this (and would probably tell you as much) unless he tries to sue her. As far as the amount she paid before, if she decides she doesn't want to pursue that then that's her call if she thinks it would be too much trouble. I'm simply addressing the concern over this most recent bill. It almost certainly will come to nothing because he's just hoping that someone that let him get away with it before will just play along and pay again. There is almost certainly no teeth to his threats, unless he's stunningly stupid.

    Druhim on
    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    Paper trail, paper trail, paper trail, complete with pictures of the work he said he would do and hasn't, work he did but was shit, and work he finished to her satisfaction. Find out what the work he did well is actually worth, and make sure you have every correspondence documented, including all present and future and as much of the past stuff as possible. Whatever legal action she ends up needing to take, and my guess is that he will try to strongarm her into something, having these things ready to go will make her life much easier. If all that work is prepped ahead of time it may even make getting her money back a strong possibility, if she can point to what she should owe any other contractor for what he actually did.

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Registered User regular
    The only thing more expensive than a lawyer would be not having a lawyer.

    If the bill is only for $5000, a lawyer could easily be more expensive than that. If your lawyer is billing you in 6 minute increments at $100 an hour, that's $10 everytime you send him an email and $20 when you receive a response longer than "ok".

    By all means try and contact one if you feel like it, but it sounds like he's going to have a whale of a time justifying his invoice in small claims court.

  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2012
    Well, she may be able to consult with an appropriate local lawyer for free. That could really be worth doing, and may help her get her shit together a bit even if everyone decides it's not necessary to hire one in the end. It may also make her feel better about having what she needs in case the guy takes some sort of action, and let her know what kind of action he can take.

    ceres on
    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
    EshJHunz
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    I'm actually going to disagree with the advice to lawyer up. All he's done (recently) is present a bill so far. What matters is what he does next if it's not paid. And it's likely he won't do anything if you ignore him because he's just fishing for some extra money from someone who let him get away with it before. If he's stupid enough to take her to small claims, a lawyer shouldn't be necessary and it should be a pretty straightforward case. If he tries to put a lien on the house claiming he wasn't paid for services rendered, again a lawyer shouldn't be necessary. My parents had this happen with a shitty roofer they hired to work on my sister's roof when she decided to sell. He did shoddy work and refused to fix it when the shoddy work was pointed out. He then tried to put a lien on the house for the unpaid balance, but when they explained to the city what had actually happened they didn't hesitate to refuse the lien and forced him to refund the amount they'd paid down before work started. It was a hassle, but it didn't require a lawyer.

    What you should do (assuming he's actually licensed for the work he was supposed to do) is report him to the appropriate licensing agency for the city/county/state he did the work in. But a lawyer isn't really going to be cost effective in assisting with this (and would probably tell you as much) unless he tries to sue her. As far as the amount she paid before, if she decides she doesn't want to pursue that then that's her call if she thinks it would be too much trouble. I'm simply addressing the concern over this most recent bill. It almost certainly will come to nothing because he's just hoping that someone that let him get away with it before will just play along and pay again. There is almost certainly no teeth to his threats, unless he's stunningly stupid.
    Consulting to a lawyer is not the same thing as hiring a lawyer. And while this is probably an option, I don't really think consulting a lawyer is ever a bad idea (unless they're a bad lawyer).

    That being said, someone else your friend might want to consult with is an experienced, licensed contractor or public appraiser. If you have "before" pictures of what you've got, show them to said person, and ask how much you should be reasonably charged for the work done. It sounds like she's going to need to hire another contractor, anyhow, so if he can do that as part of his estimate, that would be ideal.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Uggg I hate crooked contractors so much. However it's unlikely he could get 5k from you through any official recourse, the 25k was dubious at best, you might be able to tap his bond for not completing the work. Professionally if I had a contractor that wouldn't finish up I would call the company that handled his bonding and tell them I was going to file a claim if the work wasn't finished. Although I don't think the OP has the information on the bond, but if he does he may be able to get the work finished, and avoid paying the 5k.

  • galdongaldon Registered User regular
    thanks for the replies. she so far is still really hesitant to talk to a lawyer unfortunately. I'm trying to get her to at least consult one for peace of mind but it seems she has it in her head that a lawyer means automatically going to court. ><

    Go in, get the girl, kill the dragon. What's so hard about that? ... Oh, so THAT'S what a dragon looks like.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChq0-eLNiMaJlIjqerf0v2A? <-- Game related youtube stuff
    http://galdon.newgrounds.com/games/ <-- games I've made. (spoiler warning: They might suck!)
  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    No because see they won't do that unless she agrees to pay them. If she doesn't agree to pay one, there will be no court involving them.

    Hell, some of the time you can pay one just enough to write a nasty letter written in legalese and the other party will go "whoops wrong house" and go away.

    And really, going to court would probably work out pretty heavily in her favor.

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
    bowen
Sign In or Register to comment.