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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37017
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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We had storm damage on our garage roof. we contacted a

Customer Question

we had storm damage on our garage roof. we contacted a roofer through home advisor, and he was the only one who responded. He came out, examined the roof, sent us a quote, and worked with the insurance company. The roofer was going to replace the roof with the same type roof that matched the main house. Again, he worked with the adjuster to get approval for the more expensive material. He asked for 75% payment up front to purchase the materials, and after we confirmed with the adjuster, that there is occasion where the contractor might be a small operation and need payment up front. He encouraged us to pay the roofer to get the roof installed. Do you see it coming? No roofer, he came to pick up his $9600.00 and all communication stopped. We have emailed him and left voice mail messages. What is our next course of action? We have paperwork, emails, documented phone calls.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet, we are going up this weekend, and I need to know what steps to take to get out money back.
JA: We have a 30 day refund policy so you can simply email***@******.*** and they will try to fix your problem or refund your money.
Customer: Not the money for your service, the roofer is what I need advice about. What is the next step we should take?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: connect me please
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Do you have a written contract with the roofer?

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When was work supposed to start?

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Do you have a physical address for the roofer?

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Is he licensed and insured?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
we have a contract, and a quote, several emails. He started the work on 9/23/16, ripped off the old roof and put the black tar paper down. I have an address that we located on line.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What recourse do we have with the insurance company, who encouraged us to pay him ahead of the work being done?
What is the next step we should take to get our money back from him?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
are you with me?
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

Ok, at this point, it would appear that the roofer is clearly in breach of contract as the new roof should have gone on the same day or a day later after the tar paper went on...

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With that said, if you can track the roofer down, you can sue him for breach of contract for the remainder of your money back minus whatever the reasonable of the initial work is worth..

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But the problem, and I am sure you probably realize this, is that contractors like this are typically deadbeats who don't have any money and has spent yours on their bills. That is why no one will extend them credit....they have been stiffed before.

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With that said, you can try to pursue this from a fraud angle by filing a criminal complaint with the local DA and see if they will take up the case as it appears clear that the roofer had no intention to finish the job and was going to keep your money, which is fraud.

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As for the insurance company, they were foolish to encourage you to front the money, but the ultimate decision was yours so you can't hold them liable..

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So your recourse here is to see if you can track him down and then sue him civilly for breach of contract and also contact the local DA to see if they will go after him for fraud and theft by deception.. On the odd chance that he has insurance, you could file a claim with his insurer if he has one listed on the contract. But generally these type of people aren't insured..

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I would also contact your insurer if you haven't already to see if they could offer some type of assistance with tracking the person down and threatening them with some type of insurance fraud claim...

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
ok, so we will start with the DA and go from there. We will contact the insurance company and see if they can help track him down and threaten fraud. Thanks for the information, it has helped.
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time, even if it isn't great..

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All the best to you and yours.

Barrister