Post # 1
I posted the following 2 weeks ago: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/would-you-pay-this-bill
So the last time I posted, I had asked the manager of the insulation company to come up with another solution to remedy the problem in my family room because the work that he completed actually made our room colder than before. After all, all I want is for this room to be the same temperature as the rest of my house, and I’d be more than happy to pay him if he came up with a solution to solve my problem.
The next day, I received a notice of lien on my house!!! He called me this morning and said “Are you going to pay my invoice?” and I said “Not until you remedy the situation you have left me in” and he said “We’re past that point. I am going to foreclose on your house.”
I know the law and I know that he has to file a lawsuit and take me to court for non-payment. I spoke to a lawyer and he said that I have a good case because I have email evidence that the workman told me that insulating the crawlspace the way he suggested would alleviate our problems and because it didn’t (and left us worse off), he breached the terms of the contract. But now he is trying to intimidate me and that pisses me off to no end. I said “I look forward to seeing you in court” and I hung up on him.
What a JACK-SS!!!
Post # 3
Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry!
No expert, but an outside party can’t foreclose on your house…esp for such a small amt! They might be able to claim a lein, but that’s totally different.
Post # 4
P.S. Do you also have written records of your request to him to remedy the situation, and willingness to pay for such a solution? That should help you a lot in court, in addition to the email you have from the original workman.
How long has it been since the invoice was sent or payment was expected?
Post # 5
Power to ya! IMO I think you have a good case.
Post # 6
Foreclose on your house? HAHA. What a joke. Stand your ground and if it’s worth it/you have the means take him to court.
Of course he is bound to if not HELP the situation at least have it be not change (hey, we’re human.. sometimes things that should work as we’ve said – don’t). To make it worse than it even was before is not acceptable.
Post # 7
@MerryC: He did the work on February 1 and I told him on the 1st (in email) that I would be out of town for work Feb 2-9 but I was excited to come home and enjoy my comfortable room. On Feb 10 after I had been home for 1 day, I emailed him to tell him that the room is colder than before, especially the floors which are now freezing and I asked him if there was anything else he could do to help. Two days later he wrote back listing a few other things that could be causing the problem, including my furnace and fireplace. I wrote him back the next day saying that he never said these would be issues before he did the work (even though I specifically had him come to my house so that he could see first-hand what our issue was), I told him that if he had said that even if we did the insulation, it may not help because of these other problems (which would cause us thousands of additional dollars to remedy), we wouldn’t never have moved forward with the insulation. I also asked him again to do something else to help, even if it meant replacing the insulation between our floor joists that he had removed.
The next day (Feb 14), I received the notice of lien on my house via certified mail. I wrote him one more time asking him to come up with another solution for the problem and I never received a response from him. Yesterday I received the call from him.
I have 4 houses (3 rental properties) and I am constantly working with repairmen. When I find good ones, I use them constantly, refer them, and pay them immediatly for their services. I cherish good workmen and all I want from them is to fix whatever problem I have, not make it worse. I just cannot pay an invoice for work that didn’t fix my problem. It’s like if I had a leaky faucet, called out a plumber whol told me he had to replace my faucet, the faucet still leaked and the plumber said “your faucet wasn’t broken, it was your pipe”. But he still expected me to pay for the new faucet. YOU”RE THE EXPERT!!! I TRUST YOU TO FIX MY PROBLEM!!!
Sorry for the rant, I’m just really upset….
Post # 8
I think this is a tricky situation. It seems that the removed insulation could havecaused the problem but I am not clear (after reading both posts) if you okayed or requested the removal. It also seems shady that he is telling you it is beyond the time to remedy the situation. I would be also be interestrted on why the term for payment of invoice is so short…aren’t invoices standardly 30 days? This just sounds like a headache all around. Best of luck.
Post # 9
Well, honestly, he has a valid argument too. He rendered a service as part of a contractual obligation, and, as you said, no where in the contract does it guarantee that this would fix the problem. But there is a contract, signed by both of you (I’d guess), that says he will do X, and you will pay him Y. Assuming he did X, you would pay him Y, even if it made the room colder. Unless you can prove he didn’t do what you agreed to do, then your argument loses a little weight.
Now, clearly, he can’t take your house. But he can sue you for nonpayment and breaching your side of the contract (i.e., failure to pay). But even that seems drastic since it’s been less than a month. The lien seems drastic in that time frame as well, like the PP said.
Anyway, good luck figuring this all out! I hope it works out for you!
Post # 10
Has he filed a small claims suit? I think that is the extent of what he can do, I am really not familiar with lien filings and he certainily cannot take your house.
If it were me, I would call up the better business bureau and file a complaint. Not only did he make the problem worse, the way he is handling the situation is really unprofessional.
Post # 11
I’m not sure where you are located but I do know in MA, for non payment a contractor can file a lien on your property and this would prevent you from ever being able to sell your home. DH is self employed so unfortunately this has had to be done before. If you have written facts (emails) of the contractor stating that he was supposed to do x,y,and z. If he did not do what he said he did, then you can present that to the judge and let them decide. Also, does your contract have any type of warranty? If so, they should have to come back and fix the problem.
And only the bank can foreclose on your home for failure of paying your mortgage, so he just sounds like he’s a little hot headed and doesn’t know that he’s talking about.
Post # 12
I’m with @roxy821 – this could prevent you from selling In the future … You need to get your facts straightened out and persue the case yourself if you have no intention of paying… Otherwise the Lien will be in place and harder to fight years from now when you might want to sell…
Post # 13
I think he meant he was sending you to collections. This guy obviously isn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch. But I would love to be in the room if you went to small claims court over this and see the judges face when he reads a certified letter threatening to foreclose on your home even before the invoice was due. Did you check this guy out on Angie’s List?
One thing I noticed, and I may have missed it, but all I saw you repeatedly say was ‘comfort level’ in the room. ‘Comfort’ is a negotiable and everyone has a personal preference over what they define as comfortable and considering this guy is not the brightest, did you ever say directly you were looking for this to remedy cold and expected the final result to be an increase in temperature or ask how many more degrees you would expect the room to increase by after the project? He may believe he did what was asked of him on the contract if the contract doesn’t state what your objective was, just the work. And in that case, he wins.
Post # 14
While I do think he is handling this whole situation really poorly, I really don’t see how you can not be required to pay this bill. He upheld his end of the contract by doing the work you approved and requested. There is no guarentee that that work would fix the problem.
Post # 15
HE CANNOT FORECLOSE ON YOUR HOME!!!! YOU WOULD NEED TO DEFAULT ON YOUR MORTGAGE FOR THAT TO HAPPEN!!!
The best piece of advice I can give you is to DOCUMENT everything. He called you? What time, what day, what did he say, etc. and keep track of it all! Print out every piece of paperwork he ever gave you and you ever gave him, make copies, etc and take his ass to court! Take photographic evidence if you need to, etc. but don’t worry, he cannot foreclose on your home. Worst case you need to pay him and pay his legal bills, best case, he has to pay you the sum of money you are suing him for and your legal bills…
Where did the notice of lien come from? Make sure it’s authentic…
Post # 16
I’m also surprised that he got a lien on your home so quickly…the work was done on the 1st of the month…hmm…30 days haven’t even passed…he may be in desperate need of money for some reason, and you shouldn’t suffer because of that.