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C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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I live in Georgia and recently hired a guy to replace rotted

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I live in Georgia and recently hired a guy to replace rotted wood and siding on the outside of my home in different areas. I know I am an idiot, but I paid him the full amount up front because he said he needed to purchase supplies and he was really nice and seemed honest. The total amount was $570.00. My family and I went out of town and upon our return the work was not finished and the areas that he did work on looked like a 4 year old did it. You can see nail holes and he got trim paint on the siding on the 2nd story. There are splits in the wood that he used and a lot of the areas that were rotted, are still not fixed. He put putty on some areas of rot and painted over it. You can stick your finger through it! I called him on his cell phone, because that is the only number on his business card. NO ADDRESS! I left several messages for the next 4 days with no return call. I finally left a message stating that if he didn't call me back a.s.a.p. I was going to report him to the Better Business Bureau and the IRS and seek legal council. He called back saying that he had a family emergency out of town and he forgot to take his phone!!! What an idiot! He assured me that he would come to my house the next week to finish repairs. He never showed up!! I called again and he said he would definitely come the next day because he knew there were some bad areas that he needed to correct. He never showed up or called. I have left him several messages and he won't call me back. All I have is his cell phone number and his name. The check was cashed the day I gave it to him. Is there anything that I can do? We don't have the money right now to just throw away. I would never ever do this to anyone! This is stealing! Please help me!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 4 years ago.

Hi Lei,

You can file a claim in small claims court. If he does not show for the hearing, you should be able to get a default judgment against him. The fee for filing in small claims court is minimal, but if you don't have the money, the fee can be waived if you submit an application to file "in pauperis".

You will have to explain to the court that you are not currently able to locate this person, and the court will tell you how to effectuate service.

You should be able to find out where his bank is, by looking at where he cashed the check. Once you get the judgment (default or otherwise), you can arrange to place an attachment on his bank account.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Should I call him one more time and threaten him with filing a claim and see if he will come finish the work or should I just go ahead and file?
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 4 years ago.

You can certainly call him again, but it is hard to know in advance if it will make a difference. Also, it looks like he is not capable of doing the work correctly, since you said that what he already did looks unprofessional.

If you file, you can always withdraw the complaint if he does finish the work - he will be given time to do so.

Another hint - if you have his phone number, you can try to do a "reverse search" on that number to try to get an address. You can do this by clicking on "white pages" at msn.com.

Thank you.

C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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