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Old 03-08-2011, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Washington County, ME
1,570 posts, read 2,750,503 times
Reputation: 1913

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Yeah, he did.

It's been a couple years now, and i sued him and won. Also had to pay someone else to finish the job - and since it had been over two years, all the prices had gone up, of course.

After i won my lawsuit, a Sheriff's Sale order went up to have him sell his house in order to pay me. Of course, the day before that, he claimed bankruptcy.

So - according to my lawyer - i may never get a cent of my money back. I just felt like posting this, to see if anyone thinks any differently. I'm going to see another lawyer just to make sure - but of course that costs money too. Some people (family) just feel that my lawyer was not agressive enough.

I get disability and retirement, and the contractor is really a piece of $%*! to do this to me. If anyone wants more details - just ask.

I had a contract consisting of 4 payments as he finished each part of the work. After the 3rd payment (when he had received most of the money, of course), he disappeard for 6-8 months. He finally showed up when i had the County Prosecutor call him! Then he disappeared again. Finally i gave up and sued. It was heartbreaking becuz his work was good, he was recommended by friends, and he had done so much of the work - i did not want the whole thing to stop! and for me to have to find someone else.

My life has really been f-ed up by this guy.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,617 posts, read 23,282,811 times
Reputation: 5769
It does suck. Your attorney won the case, how could he have not done his job? He had no idea the guy was going to file for bankruptcy, nor had any control.

People get judgements all the time, but can't collect.
Sorry it happened to you.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:28 AM
 
24,839 posts, read 34,956,370 times
Reputation: 11513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellybean50 View Post


Yeah, he did.

It's been a couple years now, and i sued him and won. Also had to pay someone else to finish the job - and since it had been over two years, all the prices had gone up, of course.

After i won my lawsuit, a Sheriff's Sale order went up to have him sell his house in order to pay me. Of course, the day before that, he claimed bankruptcy.

So - according to my lawyer - i may never get a cent of my money back. I just felt like posting this, to see if anyone thinks any differently. I'm going to see another lawyer just to make sure - but of course that costs money too. Some people (family) just feel that my lawyer was not agressive enough.

I get disability and retirement, and the contractor is really a piece of $%*! to do this to me. If anyone wants more details - just ask.

I had a contract consisting of 4 payments as he finished each part of the work. After the 3rd payment (when he had received most of the money, of course), he disappeard for 6-8 months. He finally showed up when i had the County Prosecutor call him! Then he disappeared again. Finally i gave up and sued. It was heartbreaking becuz his work was good, he was recommended by friends, and he had done so much of the work - i did not want the whole thing to stop! and for me to have to find someone else.

My life has really been f-ed up by this guy.
I an VERY surprised the prosecutor got involved.

This is no excuse however, some contractors bid the job to low just to get the job.

Then when they see they are working for free, they walk off.

Last edited by Driller1; 03-08-2011 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 6,150,450 times
Reputation: 561
I have heard of this happening A LOT....very common. It really sucks too, sorry you had to go through this. My friends all think I am overly neurotic, but I am all over contractors like you wouldn't believe...researching everything they do, should do, etc. just because I'm phobic about being ripped off or having crap work done. I had a similar situation (although not as bad) when we bought our house and our realtor recommended a handy man to address most of the more pressing inspection items for which we received an allowance. It has been 4 years now and almost everything that guy did has had to be redone. I remember the day I fired him, it brewed over something so small...leaving dry wall mud splattered/dried on our hardwoods (they were crappy anyways and have since been replaced...but it was the principal) and I was like "Don't you clean up after yourself?" and he was like "Hey, you get what you pay for." even though I had not haggled him at all and never once made it sound like I wanted cut-rate work for cheap...I wanted a professional to do something I could not. I was like "Peace out."

It seems like now, especially, you have to be extra vigilante b/c everyone is trying to cut costs by cutting corners.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:45 AM
 
1,403 posts, read 3,307,613 times
Reputation: 1311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellybean50 View Post

I had a contract consisting of 4 payments as he finished each part of the work. After the 3rd payment (when he had received most of the money, of course), he disappeard for 6-8 months. (
I don't get it...if you were paying him after each phase of the work was finished, what did he owe you exactly?

He finished the 3rd phase of work, and then you paid him (I'm assuming the work was adequate if you wrote the check), THEN he disappeared. He didn't start the 4th phase, but you didn't pay him for it either.

It sucks that he left you high/dry with an unfinished job, but it also sounds like he didn't owe you any work for which you paid him in advance for, right?

I'm just trying to figure out how this guy ripped you off...
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,426 posts, read 47,149,726 times
Reputation: 10503
I agree with you Broadbill. We don't have the whole story here. First of all, no one can force the sale of your home to pay debts except the IRS...PERIOD!! How did you win? Did the contractor not show up for court and you won by default? That is nearly always the case. And when the court finds in your favor you will then win a judgement on his name and/or his real property. This means whenever he goes to sell his house, the title search will reveal what's called a cloud on the title and that cloud will have to be paid in full before the transfer of property can take place. It is at this sale where you get your money......IF there is anything left after the mortgage/s or any other liens positioned before you get paid.

And just because he files bankruptcy does not mean you will get money. We Americans are entitled to keep our homes during any bankruptcy chapter. We are also entitled to keep our vehicles if they are of reasonable value. That means if you have a normal car the court can not make you sell it but if you own a $70,000 car they can and will.

And if this contractor wants to screeew you over good he will just rent his home for the rest of his life should he wish to leave. By doing so you will not get the money in your lifetime.

Don't get me wrong. The only thing in life I hate more then cops and politicians are crooked contractors who rip people off. They make a bad name for all of us. And during these depression times there are plenty of crooked ones out there looking to take your money.

Good luck to you.......
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:21 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 21,445,023 times
Reputation: 6245
Are you in a state with a contractor recovery fund? If so, you may be entitled to have the fund pay and complete the work instead of you getting a judgement and having to pay out of your pocket and not collect the judgement. I was having a new culvert installed under the driveway and the licnesed contractor messed it up and didn't complete the work. My lawyer said to first go through the fund because if they agree its a mess, they will pay to have another licensed contractor complete the project and pay them direct. I don;t have to worry about collecting a judgement to pay for the work to get done. the lawyer said that is why the fund is there but most people dont use it and go on their own to court after a contractor. But if you don;t have this type of fund or now can't use it, I do hope it works out.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:54 PM
 
48,507 posts, read 90,432,002 times
Reputation: 18204
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
I agree with you Broadbill. We don't have the whole story here. First of all, no one can force the sale of your home to pay debts except the IRS...PERIOD!! How did you win? Did the contractor not show up for court and you won by default? That is nearly always the case. And when the court finds in your favor you will then win a judgement on his name and/or his real property. This means whenever he goes to sell his house, the title search will reveal what's called a cloud on the title and that cloud will have to be paid in full before the transfer of property can take place. It is at this sale where you get your money......IF there is anything left after the mortgage/s or any other liens positioned before you get paid.

And just because he files bankruptcy does not mean you will get money. We Americans are entitled to keep our homes during any bankruptcy chapter. We are also entitled to keep our vehicles if they are of reasonable value. That means if you have a normal car the court can not make you sell it but if you own a $70,000 car they can and will.

And if this contractor wants to screeew you over good he will just rent his home for the rest of his life should he wish to leave. By doing so you will not get the money in your lifetime.

Don't get me wrong. The only thing in life I hate more then cops and politicians are crooked contractors who rip people off. They make a bad name for all of us. And during these depression times there are plenty of crooked ones out there looking to take your money.

Good luck to you.......
I most states all they can do is put a wormnas lein to prevent sale without paying but even that has court remedy.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Washington County, ME
1,570 posts, read 2,750,503 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
I don't get it...if you were paying him after each phase of the work was finished, what did he owe you exactly?

He finished the 3rd phase of work, and then you paid him (I'm assuming the work was adequate if you wrote the check), THEN he disappeared. He didn't start the 4th phase, but you didn't pay him for it either.

It sucks that he left you high/dry with an unfinished job, but it also sounds like he didn't owe you any work for which you paid him in advance for, right?

I'm just trying to figure out how this guy ripped you off...
OK - I'll try to explain. This job came to be about a $90,000 job.

I'm not going into the exact figures, but i put something like $12,000 down (materials and permits), and then another $23,000 after the foundation, framing, and rough electric and plumbing and inspections were done (it was an addition).

Then, we added Central Air to the list, and another window and closet - since this was an 'addition' to the contract of like $6,000 - and he said it had to be paid in advance. I paid it.

After he put in new windows in my home, new siding, front steps, and a portion of my back deck - i paid something like another $30,000.

He disappeared. I called him like once a week, and he never returned my calls. I sent him letter after letter. Two summers went by with NO central air. I wrote a complaint to the county Prosecutor's office, and they called me, and then the contractor - twice, becuz he LIED the first time and said he'd be right over to discuss things with me. (He's a compulsive liar, i think.)

He came back with a huge story about personal problems, and that he wasnt in this to steal my money, and he came back and worked for about two days - enough to put the bay window in.

Still waiting to be finished were: an entire new kitchen - all new cabinets, coutertops (designed by a kitchen store that he 'worked with,') new flooring, the finishing of the inside of the addition, CENTRAL AIR, new hot water heater, everything that was to be put into the new 1/2 bath in the addition, grading of the house/lawn all the way around, and a bunch of other things that he had 'included' like a ceiling fan, all the painting, tiling behind the kitchen sink, blah blah blah...

What it boiled down to WAS: the work that was left to be done was over $43,000 worth of work; the amount still owed to him on the contract was just over $9,000. And that's how it often works, according to my lawyer.

Which is fine if the contractor is buying the **** he's supposed to be with all the money along the way - but he was living off of mine! To me, that's stealing, and he should be arrested. Or at least FRAUD. He never had paid for/bought the ENTIRE kitchen, flooring, ceiling fan, bathroom fixtures, drywall, hot water heater... shall i go on??? Well... you asked lol...

Nothing like paying twice - and then some!!

Edited to add: and remember, prices had gone up in a year and a half, especially wood

Last edited by Jellybean50; 03-08-2011 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Washington County, ME
1,570 posts, read 2,750,503 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
I agree with you Broadbill. We don't have the whole story here. First of all, no one can force the sale of your home to pay debts except the IRS...PERIOD!! How did you win? Did the contractor not show up for court and you won by default? That is nearly always the case. And when the court finds in your favor you will then win a judgement on his name and/or his real property. This means whenever he goes to sell his house, the title search will reveal what's called a cloud on the title and that cloud will have to be paid in full before the transfer of property can take place. It is at this sale where you get your money......IF there is anything left after the mortgage/s or any other liens positioned before you get paid.

And just because he files bankruptcy does not mean you will get money. We Americans are entitled to keep our homes during any bankruptcy chapter. We are also entitled to keep our vehicles if they are of reasonable value. That means if you have a normal car the court can not make you sell it but if you own a $70,000 car they can and will.

And if this contractor wants to screeew you over good he will just rent his home for the rest of his life should he wish to leave. By doing so you will not get the money in your lifetime.

Don't get me wrong. The only thing in life I hate more then cops and politicians are crooked contractors who rip people off. They make a bad name for all of us. And during these depression times there are plenty of crooked ones out there looking to take your money.

Good luck to you.......
I said i WOULDNT get money, not that i would.

I dont know why i have a copy of the Sheriff Sale letter then, and why it was in the newspaper. Somebody was forcing him. I dont know if he didnt show up or not, i never even had to go to court.

And yes, i know he'd have to pay the mortgage first, and after that there would be nothing left for me. That's why i wont get anything, also.

I'm f-d!!

I should add that i dont believe someone should be forced out of their home because of a frivolous lawsuit. But he has 23 acres of land that he uses for 'farm use' (to save on taxes). He surely could sell a couple acres and pay me. (Oh, and his first lawyer called mine and offerred this, we accepted. Never happened, another lie.) With the constant commercials on TV urging people to sue for everything under the sun, it's very frustrating to not be able to recover money that you are legally and honestly due.

Last edited by Jellybean50; 03-08-2011 at 10:02 PM..
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