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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 17522
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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my 83 yr old my had a contractor start to redo her front porch

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my 83 yr old my had a contractor start to redo her front porch in Apr. 2013 and he has still not finished it. her location is Ocean City NJ. 08226 I am 2hrs. away so we need help. can you recomend some to help. Thank You.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.


I have carefully reviewed your post. However, I did not see a question. What is your question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What can she do to get the job done or her money back?

Thank you for the information:



What can she do to get the job done or her money back?''


Response: First, you need to contact another contractor to review the work and give you a written estimate how much it would take to do the work. Then send a demand letter to the current contractor to come and finish the job immediately or you would get another contractor to finish the job and then sue the current contractor for the expense. You need to send this simple demand letter by Certified Mail Return Receipt Request. Also, you need to file Complaint with New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs:

http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm




If all fails, then you need to file Small Claim to recover the funds paid to the non-performing contractor if the claim amount is $3,000.00 or less. Otherwise, you need to file the claim in regular civil session. For more information, click on the links below:


http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/essex/civil/small.htm




http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/civ-02.htm

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In the demand letter does she let the current contractor know she will sue him for the expense? What else should be stated in this letter?

In the demand letter does she let the current contractor know she will sue him for the expense?


Response 1:
Yes. If she hires another contractor, then the current contractor would be responsible for the expense. The current contractor would also be responsible for her Court costs.


What else should be stated in this letter?



Response 2
: That she would file Complaint with Consumer Affairs and , that the contractor’s license could be suspended.

She should also file complaint with the Better Business Bureau:

http://www.bbb.org

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would she have to give the 1st contractor a certain amount of time to reply to the demand letter? Should she demand it be completed with in time limit in the letter or can she just go ahead and hire the new contractor and file? The repair was $9000.00 which she paid half.

Would she have to give the 1st contractor a certain amount of time to reply to the demand letter? Should she demand it be completed with in time limit in the letter or can she just go ahead and hire the new contractor and file? The repair was $9000.00 which she paid half


Response:
The sole purpose of a demand letter is to ask someone to do something by a date certain or a lawsuit would ensue. So, she needs to put in the demand letter the date she wants the contractor to finish the work or come back to finish the job. 30-day demand is generally reasonable. Then if the contractor ignores the demand letter or replies and states that he would come by next week for instance to do the job, but then fails to show up, then she can proceed with the lawsuit. The better course of action is to show the Court that you made final attempt to resolve the issue with the Court, but that you were not able to because the contractor refused to cooperate with you. So, the demand letter needs to be sent first before the lawsuit.

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