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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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We receive settlement funds from our homeowners insurance for

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We receive settlement funds from our homeowners insurance for storm damage. initially there was some siding damage factored in worth $814. after final processing of the claim we agreed with the insurance company to take final settlement and not pursue additional work due to the fact that the settlement would not cover complete replacement. Hartford Insurance informed me that the $814 initially paid out should come back to usand the contracter should reinburse us for work not to be done. The contractor said that we were in breach of contract and is forcing us to sign a Mutual Release of all claims and Confidential settlement agreement. Which has at this point been reduced to $564, adminis tration fees. After we notified him today that we signed his paperwork, he has informed me that theris "more paperwork to come" I think they are trying to eat all of the $814 a little at a time
Did the contractor perform the work on the siding?

Did the contract with the contractor say that it was dependent on the insurance claim amount?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No work was done on the siding and the initial estimate for repair only was the 814. later on the insurance company sent a check for replacement of only 3 sides of the house. not enough to cover siding on the front, which was a different type, so we agreed to take the settlement plus the 814 already paid to the contracter initially.


the contingency contract said "American Property Claims Specialists LLC shall perform scopes of work approved by the insurance company and for the monies set forth by and agreed upon with the property owner's insurance company"

So, essentially, you agreed with the contractor that they would do all the repairs that were approved by insurance company and take the money that the insurance company paid. Now, the insurance company has paid you, but you have decided that you no longer want to use the contractor to do any of the work and have asked for your money back.

What does the contract say about terminating the agreement?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Money paid to us was for roof relpacement, which was done. and repair
or replacement for 1 wall exterior siding. Repairs were not done on the 1 side because that siding is no longer produced. Therefore we opted not to pursue additional work because it would throw off the overall look of the house. The insurance would only approve 3 side no peaks and no front replacement which would also make the house look bad

What a mess. I think this contractor is being unscrupulous with you. The contractor has already been paid to do the roof work and wants to keep the rest of the money without doing any work for it? They don't get it both ways.

You said you signed a settlement agreement though. Why?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have it in my possesion right now. He said that we get the money minus administrative cost which now he has reduced us to$564 and when we told him the paperwork was ready for pickup, he emailed me that more paper work is on the way and legal work isn't free. If we accept the money in exchange for settlement agreement should that be the end of this or does he have recourse against us of the clauses says neither will pursue action against the other if settled

If the settlement says that he is releasing you from all claims, then you don't have anything else to worry about.

Honestly without reading the underlying contract you had with him, I really can't give you any more specific advice.

What you could do though is tear up the settlement agreement and tell him that you are suing him in small claims court for the return of the unused insurance payments. He doesn't just get to keep the money without actually giving you any service and a "administrative" fee is a bunch of bull.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

he has given us an implied threat if we taken action i.e. BBB or Attorney General complaint, or defame that they would sue for breach of contract

It's up to you whether you want to bow to the threat or not. I think if you sued in small claims, the judge would say that you are owed some value for the money they are taking (worst case scenario), or would say that you are entitled to your money back because that portion of the contract has become impossible to perform under the original assumptions (i.e., that you would get all the siding repaired).

They can't keep the money if they are not going to do any work for it. Sue them in small claims instead of letting them sue you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can we refer to you as our legal advisor in any communications with the contractor? purely as a scare tactic


I cannot agree to that as it would be forming an attorney client bond, which is not allowed through this website. We are only providing you with general information and are not acting as your attorney.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for the information though. We will continue to work with this person and will explore retaining counsel if needed


Just a reminder, you don't need an attorney in small claims court. The amount you would be suing for doesn't really justify hiring an attorney. Filing a small claims court is very easy. So I encourage you to pursue that option if needed.
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