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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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This is what I want to know this dated back since 2011.Sandy

Customer Question

This is what I want to know this dated back since 2011.Sandy storm I had work done on my house the mortgage company is holding on to my check since 2011. they stated that they needed to know about the contractors tax ID #.But come find out the man that did the work wasn't licensed contractor but my roof and kitchen was done I paid for it out of my pocket and now the insurance company refused to gave me my check/The insurance company inspectors
came to expect the house to make sure the kitchen and roof was done.The check was endorse to the mortgage company and myself but I don't have a licensed contractor to sign off on it. so I can get the money this is the reason I'm writing to you to find out what else can I do to get the money.need your advice.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 months ago.

Hello there --


Unfortunately, pursuant to the terms of your mortgage, the lender has the right to be difficult about this and retain the funds. This is because many people do not have the work done or have the work properly done when an insurance claim is involved. It sounds like your work was done and it seems it was proper, even if the contractor was not licensed. My suggestion is that you contact your insurance company and offer to have the work inspected by a licensed contractor to determine if it is adequate under NJ building laws and offer them a written certification from the contractor to that effect. You will probably have to pay a licensed contractor a few hundred dollars for the inspection and written assessment because I do not believe you will find one to do it for free (perhaps the person who did the work knows someone who can give you this sign off? Otherwise, you will have to call around to find a licensed contractor to come out to your house and inspect). The mortgage company should be willing to accept such documentation. If they do not, then your only other alternative is to hire a lawyer and have the lawyer threaten a lawsuit for failing to reimburse you for the work that was done (right now, the mortgage company is in the "right" because of the licensed contractor issue but if you get a written sign off from a licensed contractor and they still refuse to accept it, then that is when an attorney will write a letter for you to see if perhaps it can be resolved without further legal action and it costing a small fortune in legal fees). A local attorney will also charge you a few hundred dollars to make a few telephone calls and write a demand letter and then if the mortgage company still refuses to release the money, you can decide with the attorney what you want to do from there (depending upon the amount that is due to you and the amount that it may cost to actually sue the mortgage company for this).


I truly wish I could tell you otherwise on this one, but the mortgage companies CAN require that you have a licensed contractor do the work and I am only surprised that you were not told this at the beginning of this process so you could have tried to follow their rules. You do have one point in your favor and that is that I am certain that in your area after Hurricane Sandy that it was not easy to find any contractors who could do the work quickly and properly for you. Just because someone is not licensed does not always mean the work is bad -- you are just going to have to show the mortgage company that the work is acceptable.


I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions on this matter. If not, can you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time assisting you today? I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating above before leaving the website. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.



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