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Sluggin away
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a client who decided the paint colors that they chose was not what they really wanted AFTER the entire house was painted AND now there is a mysterious drywall tape line showing around the entire living room area (18x22) approx 3' from the exterior wall. This tape line runs parallel to the walls..... We are not good at drywall so we sub this out to a drywall contractor that we have used on 50+ homes without any problems and he said this could not be a tape line since he would not run drywall 3' parellel to the exterior wall..... We have not been allowed back into the home to verify......

Heres the real problem:

Homeowner is withholding the final payment of over $60,000. This was an Insurance Company project so the Mortgage Company issued the final check and our name is on the final disbursement check but they will not endorse. We DO have a "rock solid" contract and We DO have 3 Certificates of Completions signed by homeowner. They want to negotiate the final payment. Initially they wanted $15k and they would endorse the check...then $25k and now $30k.....

We said NO but would be happy to address any concerns. We filed the lien and hired our atty to execute the lien and foreclose on home. Homeowner hired an attorney and now both attorneys are meeting next Tuesday and my Attorney wants to know what I am willing to do...

My question is this:

I can repaint this entire home for $3000 +/- and the drywaller is willing to either make the repairs (whatever they are seeing that none of us did) or install 1/4" drywall overlay or remove and replace the 5/8" drywall and re-texture so its ready for the painters.

Would YOU offer a credit of the cost of the painters and drywalling? OR would you go back into the home and make these repairs?

I want to go back and make the homeowner happy (this has been offered 5X but they would not allow us back into the home) and complete another coat of painting (same color) and repair/replace drywall. The guys in the shop said "pay the homeowner the credit and be done with them!"

Either way we want paid :censored:
 

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GC/carpenter
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DUTY TO MITIGATE

The duty of someone who was wronged to make reasonable efforts to limit the resulting harm. A duty to mitigate can apply to the victim of a tort or a breach of contract. Neglecting a duty to mitigate precludes the recovery of damages that could have been avoided through reasonable efforts.

They have to allow you a reasonable opportunity to make it right. This is what my lawyer told me. Now if you've been there 16 times and didn't resolve the issue they have a case. But to say we don't like it and you can't come make it right, won't hold water here.
 

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Sluggin away
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
x3,x4 and x5
Well there is more but I don't "think" its applicable to the situation...

1) Husband filed for divorce during this rebuild
2) Wife lost her job
3) The Ins Co didn't pay her $100,000's for her contents that were damaged like she was told....


The contract was for the rebuild. Payment by the Mortgage Company was for the rebuild. Payment by the Insurance Company was for the rebuild. Everyone was happy thus the Cert of Completion signed from the Homeowners three times... 1 for the bank, 1 for the ins company and our Cert of Completion signed over a 10 day period.

I "think" its all about the $$$.....

Would you do the "unknown repairs" or just give the homeowners the credit and walk?

I have till Monday to decide what to tell the attorney and was looking for input what you pro's who may, hopefully not, have been in the same position...:eek:

Never had this happen to us in 14 years of restoration/rebuild work.... Oh sure we have had touchups and some trim that needed fixed that was missed during walk throughs but nothing like this! :no:
 

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Sluggin away
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DUTY TO MITIGATE

The duty of someone who was wronged to make reasonable efforts to limit the resulting harm. A duty to mitigate can apply to the victim of a tort or a breach of contract. Neglecting a duty to mitigate precludes the recovery of damages that could have been avoided through reasonable efforts.

They have to allow you a reasonable opportunity to make it right. This is what my lawyer told me. Now if you've been there 16 times and didn't resolve the issue they have a case. But to say we don't like it and you can't come make it right, won't hold water here.
Same as what our attorney stated. We also have the workmanship issue addressed in our rebuild contract. Breach of Contract is a 2 way street. :thumbsup:
 

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GC/carpenter
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FremontREO said:
Same as what our attorney stated. We also have the workmanship issue addressed in our rebuild contract. Breach of Contract is a 2 way street. :thumbsup:
I would slam them with Attorney fees as well. If the judge determines that this is most likely a money grab, you should be able to recover everything.
 

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The caveat to the situation is the insurance referral. Is this a one time referral or a sustainable source of business. If it is a integral part of the business then eat the cost. If this is a one time affair, then hold tight if you feel you delivered a quality product.
 

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Go to the insurance company with 3 things: the certificate of completion (signed by the homeowner); an offer to settle as things currently stand for 60K-5K = 55K, and a firm offer to repair (without admitting any error and completely out of your wish to make all parties whole) for $3K.

If the customers are hurting, there's no negotiating with them, and your best bet, no, your only bet is the lien.
 

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CarpenterSFO said:
Go to the insurance company with 3 things: the certificate of completion (signed by the homeowner); an offer to settle as things currently stand for 60K-5K = 55K, and a firm offer to repair (without admitting any error and completely out of your wish to make all parties whole) for $3K.
I would give them them the choice between fix the damage and no settlement or take 5k with a release of liability which means no warranty for any of the work.
 

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I would give them them the choice between fix the damage and no settlement or take 5k with a release of liability which means no warranty for any of the work.
I can see your point. I was thinking that the insurance company would need a financial incentive (that $2K difference) to settle.

Edit: I don't know what their legal limitations are, or if it's even possible to go around the homeowner. I was thinking that the $2K might tip the scale.
 

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This is the problem with doing insurance work, it produces a whole different kind of customer. Not always but often people seem to think insurance is supposed to be scammed. It's all about the payoff, they want some money not just things fixed. So when they see the contractor getting well compensated they automatically think the money is negotiable.
 

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Thom
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foreclosing on the lien could take two or three years and cost a significant amount of lawyer money in the process (I've been there twice). The owners will probably want or need to sell sooner than that. Your lien will get in their way. There may not be enough equity in the house for them to care, they could just walk away.

The point is, at this point there are many possibilities, you have no way of judging the likelihood of each of them.

You would hate to give in but, you would probably hate to wait a couple years for the money. If the HO's decided on foreclosure and they threw out the check, you would have no claim on the insurance company and there would be little reason for the HO's to give you the check or have another issued.

As the HO's get increasingly desperate for cash and as time passes they will be increasingly likely to settle for less, much less. Of course this assumes that the HO's don't deposit the check into their own account. Even though it requires multiple signatures banks rarely check. Even then the HO's could forge your signature. That would put you right where you are now, you would need to sue however, the insurance money might be spent.
 
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Offer $3500-4000, it should be clear that it isn't an admission of any workmanship issue (you haven't seen it) and you should also be out of future warranties issues.

Get your money and get clear of them fast, they're looking around for people to rob to pay their lawyers. Divorce isn't cheap.
 

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I would not offer to fix the work or repaint. No matter how good you do, it will never be good enough. Not now.
I would offer the $3,000 to $5,000 settlement or the full amount plus legal fees and lost wages due to court time / lawyer meetings.
I have never come out on insurance jobs. The homeowners always seem to change once they get that check.
Good luck
 

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.

My question is this:

I can repaint this entire home for $3000 +/- and the drywaller is willing to either make the repairs (whatever they are seeing that none of us did) or install 1/4" drywall overlay or remove and replace the 5/8" drywall and re-texture so its ready for the painters.

Would YOU offer a credit of the cost of the painters and drywalling? OR would you go back into the home and make these repairs?

I want to go back and make the homeowner happy (this has been offered 5X but they would not allow us back into the home) and complete another coat of painting (same color) and repair/replace drywall. The guys in the shop said "pay the homeowner the credit and be done with them!"

Either way we want paid :censored:

Your post says that so far this isn't even an option? Later you suggest you can mitigate the situation with the offer to repair or possibly walk with by giving $3K credit.

You are trying to solve this by being creative about it. I don't think the problem you are trying to solve is the problem that needs solving.. The problem is the divorce, the money and the house, not your work.

If you can walk away with a $3k discount and maybe an additional $2k in expenses and be done and paid in very short order that will likely be your best way out, but is that option even on the table?

If your posts are honest and accurate, your attorney should be spelling out the consequences of failure to release the funds immediately. The customer(s) would not fair well individually moving forward with this type of financial blemish on the record.

WTF is wrong with people anyway?
 
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