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Question DetailsAsked on 8/7/2017

Can I be sued by a contractor that did not do work on my home per instructions from my insurance company

represented himself as a licensed contractor but actually a LLC company of one, work was not done as outlined by insurance estimates not to my satisfaction. Asked him to stop work after it took 3months to do what could have been done in a months time ( he went out of town twice stopping work from being done) material was used material that he already had and now he wants the remainder of the insurance check can he sue and win?

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Sure you can be sued or have a lien put on your house - both of which are major hassles and wreck havoc on your credit rating. But bottom line - just because contract said he was to get the insurance payment (plus likely your deductible amount and maybe amortization) does not mean he automatically should get it - that promised payment is contingent on his satisfactory completion of the repairs.

Of course, you undoubtedly realize that if the job had been agreed to be done in one month, waiting till he was 3 months down the road and still incomplete was a mistake.

Whether his claims would be legitimate is another matter. If you found his work inadequate or his performance untimely (not knowing what the contract said about a completion date), then he may have a legitimate claim for the value of work adequately done, and you may have a basis for a claim against him or refund of advance payments for work which will have to be redone. The validation of your concerns about his work quality/completion may need third party verification - city building inspector, insurance inspector, or an independent expeart maybe depending on how far this threatened action goes.

If he put in "used" material - material removed from another structure and reused in yours - generally unless it was basically new that would probbly be cause for you to legitimately object. If you meant "left over" material from another job, then as long as it was essentially as good as new you would probably have a cause to object only if it did not meet the specifications for the job or mismatched across the job - like different color lots of shingles o na roof for instance.

The out-oif-town thing would be pertinent only if he failed to meet the contractual completion date.

Depending on the contract and local building laws, you may be able to get the job "failed" by the government building inspector and/or by the insurance company, which would give you strong basis to file a claim against his Bond to have the bonding company pay to complete the job under the original contract amount.

You talk about "per instructions from my insurance company" - rarely does the contractor actually work for the insurer, though he may agree to their claim adjustment amount and scope of work - but generally your contract is with the contractor and whjilemaybe subject to payment and/or approvla by the insurance company, is between you and him. However, if using insurance $ to pay him, I would definitely get the insurance claim adjuster/inspector into the picture, because if it does not meet their legitimate requirements they are not going to make the payment.

As for his being a contractor in most states he wouldhave to be licensed as a contractor and the LLC would be doing business basedon his license and be registered as a contractor firm - assuming the type of work he is doing requires a license in your state, if he is not a licensed contractor you can pursue that with the state licensing board and probably also the state or local business licensing agency - though that does not solve your contract problem, just get his attention because his business is now at risk. But him being unlicensed would certainly strengthen your case, open up the possibility of charging him with fraud, and in some few states makes it illegal for him to take even a penny of payment for unlicensed work. If he fraudently claimed to be licensed then in addition to having good cause to boot him of f the job and call his Bond, his business liability insurance may also be subject to claim for civil fraud.

Because of the stage it has gone to, I would aay you definitely need an attorney experienced in construction contract issues to protect your intearests and to prevent filing of a suit or lien, ifonly becuase of the potential consequences of that, including acceleration (immediate payment in full due) on any existing loans (car, personal, student load, mortgage, etc potentially) you have outstanding, possible credit card cancellation, etc. The mutual default clauses in many loan agreements are nasty - they basically say if you have a judgement or bad debt registered against you (normally inclulding a lien or suit) that ALL loans/accounts can be considered also in default and may become immediately due and payable in full - which also then further crateers your credit rating for 3-7 years, so not something to take lightly.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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