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Question DetailsAsked on 5/31/2017

i hired a logger that claimed to be licensed, insured, and bonded but later found out he is not. what do i do

I hired a logger under the understanding that he was licensed, bonded, and insured. I have card which has the license number. he started to not show up and i looked everything up and sure enough everything has lapsed. I have not paid him a dime. what can i do

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1 Answer


Well - that is fraud. You don't say if he did any work, but if so depending on state you might or might not have to pay him the fair value of his work. In some states that deception, or in a few even working without a license (if required) is grounds for getting the work he has already done for free. You would have to talk to an attorney on that.
Insurance and bonding - how did you check that ? The only way to check it is to contact the insurance and bonding companies listed on his certificates of insurance and bond certificate (which he would have to give you at bid or contract time) and check if it is still in effect, and on the bonding what amount if any is "enccumbered by claims" - meaning that there is someone (or several) who have filed claims which are reserving a portion of the bond value - sort of like hotels and car rental companies reserve a portion of your credit card credit line when you first check in or rent a car, then later amend that to the actual amount due. With bonding it is quite possible for a contractor who is having quality issues or such to have a bond, but the entire face amount is encumbered by those claims so there is nothing left to cover your job.
If no work has been done, assuming you want to dump him I would send a certified mail, return receipt, signature required letter telling him you are terminating the contract because of his deception, and pay him nothing. Course, even if work has been done you can still do that - will just have a likely argument about what you own him for the work done to date. That is where knowing the local/state laws on licensing requirements for his type of service (likely Tree Service in your area) and what they say about having to pay for unlicensed work. And of course, you can do a negative review on him on Angies List or other review sites, and report him to the state and/or local licensing boards for operating without required license (contractors or business or both).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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