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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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We had a fire. ServPro came in and cleaned the place up.

Customer Question

We had a fire. ServPro came in and cleaned the place up.
They didn't clean the entire living room carpet, just the 'traffic areas'...and we had to replace that carpet.
They broke one of our ceiling light covers and did not replaced it. We had to...and it doesn't match the other two.
While they were in the house, someone broke into a small locked box in my parent's closet and stole rings, an heirloom pocket watch and a small coin collection.
They did not replace the furnace filter so that when we turned the furnace back on, all the smoke from the filter was blown back into the house.
They piled fake plants on top of our live ones, and killed three of them.
If they couldn't find a place to put something, they threw it outside, so that we have lost several things, including a box of albuteral dosages for my father's asthma.
The insurance company has paid them directly for MOST of their work, but they have also given me a bit over $9,000 to finish paying them. Can I hold back an amount that I think will cover the damages/loss? (I think it's going to run around two thousand).
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

You aren't really allowed to "hold back" money in a situation like this. That is what is referred to as "self help" and the law frowns on that.

What you can do is not pay them but deposit whatever money is required to fulfill their contract into the registry of the court and then sue them for their failure to do the work properly and for the damages they caused or failed to repair.

You can also sue for attorney's fees if you hire a lawyer to help you.

By depositing he money into the registry of the court then the court is less likely to award them interest or attorney's fees if you lose (which seems unlikely) because it is clear you're not trying to "short" them on their payment.

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.

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