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rvlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience:  NYC Trial Attorney 30+ years; Law professor ; BUSINESS LAW; CONTRACTS; TORTS; Arbitrator
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Hello Rich, You answered my question last week about a contractor

This answer was rated:

Hello Rich,
You answered my question last week about a contractor that I fired. I did tell you that the project is funded by my home owner's insureance. The insurance company accepted the contractor's estimates and sent me the check for all repairs. I was supplying the materials and paying the contractor for labor only. I had a new contractor look at the job and he said it was such a botched job that I shouldn't pay the fist guy at all. I prefer to pay him for the work completed vs by the hour which he originally requested. You advised me to tally a fair amount and send him a check certified mail. Since the insurance company already paid me and I am having someone else do the work I feel there should not be a problem. I know the insurance company would not want be to pay a lot of extra money for unfinished work. There was no contract signed. His total bill for very little work is $1,200 well below the small claims threshold.

How should I proceed if my insurance gets involved. He says he plans to call my insurance agent to complain.

Thanks for your help.



I doubt that I suggested you send him a check (go back and check my answer). I suggested you send him a letter saying how much you thought he should be paid. If the new contractor said the cost of repairs is more than the former amount which was less than the estimate. DON'T CASH THE CHECK. Get an estimate from the new contractor and send another letter to the first contractor telling him what the actual cost of repair will be. Tell him you will not cash the check. Tell him he is free to complain to the insurance company if he wants.

BIG RED FLAG.......he wants to be paid in cash!! However it turns out, pay him only by check. Once a figure is reached, make him sign a general release tthat says "In consideration of $X paid by XXXXX XXXXX to ABC Contactor, said contractor releases XXXXX XXXXX from any liability in connection with the (describe the job in detail)

You can get a release form online or at any stationery store that carries legal forms.

Keep me posted, and as usual get back to me with any further questions.



Once again......



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rvlaw and 2 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good advice again. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I was mistaken about you telling me to send the contractor a check. You said send him a tally of what I think is fair. I did that. I did not send any money. The new contractor said I should not pay him for the shoddy work, but I feel he deserves something for what he did accomplish.

I'm not too worried about the insurance. I still have the money they gave me. They wouldn't like it if I mismanaged their settlement.


I will rate the service excelent now. No need to reply, and I will keep you posted. I appreciate your help.