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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53673
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Hello, I am a contractor and a sub contractor contacted me

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I am a contractor and a sub contractor contacted me with a job and wanted to work with my company to complete the job. The job was for a residential home damaged by hurricane sandy. The home owner needed a licensed contractor's proposal with estimates to give to his bank to get a loan. I gave him a proposal with my estimate and W9. I was told by the home owner that once the bank approved the loan he would inform me and I would then give him a copy of my insurance and take a deposit from him and begin the job. However, he never contacted me. I contacted the sub contractor since he knew the home owner and was told that the bank never approved the loan for the home owner. Meanwhile, the bank had approved the loan using my proposal, and the sub contractor and home owner had a cut a deal on the side to do the job on their own for cheaper. The job eventually went bad and was not completed by the subcontractor. The home owner then contacted me and pleaded that I complete the job and I refused. Now the homeowners attorney sent me a letter stating that I either complete the job or return the sum he has paid the sub contractor or he will "advise" him of his legal rights. I am not sure what course of action to take next and do not know if I need to retain an attorney. Please help as I am not at fault and feel like my information had been wrongfully used.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. You have no liability for this. You don't need a lawyer for this at this point. Rather, you should send attorney and the homeowner a letter by certified mail detailing the history, informing them: i) you supplied an estimate; ii) the homeowner instead contracted directly with a subcontractor; iii) the homeowner later came to you pleading you to complete the job; and iv) you refused. Inform them further you have been informed by an attorney you have no liability for this and that they need to immediately cease and desist from contacting you further on this issue. Finally, let them know that otherwise, you will engage counsel to file your own suit against the homeowner and to file a formal ethics complaint against the lawyer with the state bar association. That should be sufficient to put this to bed, but if not, at that point engage an attorney and go after them.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt response. My daughter is a newly barred attorney and I would like for her to draft my response, or would you advise that I do it myself? Secondly, the bank issued the loan based on my estimate and I believe that the bank sent the check to the home owner with my information on it but the sub contractor fraudulently cashed it. I have already contacted the bank with this information. Is it true that since the loan was issued based on my W9 and information that I am liable for tax on the money given to the contractor?

First, congratulations on your newly-licensed daughter! Second, yes, have her write the letter. Third, you have no liability here; rather the homeowner and the bank are involved in fraud. Included in the letter, a copy of which you will want to send to the bank as well, should be: i) the information regarding the fraudulent cashing of the check; ii) a demand that the bank correct the W-9 information since you received no money; and iii) letting the bank, homeowner, and the attorney know that you will be contacting both the IRS and the district attorney's office to pursue criminal charges relating to the fraud.
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