How to get my money back from a jerk contractor...

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Dick,
Got to disagree. The guy wants money in his pocket, not revenge. Why would the contractor return his money after a complaint has been filed? That won't make the complaint go away, so no reason to return the money. He needs to find a local lawyer and get some professional advice. I suspect that advice will be a demand letter followed by mediation.
Dave M.
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And, when your dealing with people who cheat for a living, any action you take that's toothless, is worthless

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RBM wrote:

To add another comment: building inspectors and local officials are often in bed with contractors and will ignore all but blatant offenses. I went through this with county officials - some were good but most were bad. This extends through the judicial system. We recently had a ex county official take a $3 million bribe. She was tried and convicted and fined about $300 or the equivalent of a couple of speeding tickets.
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To make matters worse, if you're in NY and dealing with a town justice, he/she may have no legal training. I know this sounds absurd, but here ya go:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/nyregion/25courts.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/26/nyregion/26courts.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/27/nyregion/27courts.html
Might also be this way in other states, but I don't know about that.
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On Jan 14, 1:19pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How about the INS? Do you have any reason to think he might be using "undocumented guest workers"?
After the Florida hurricanes a few years back, I don't think there was anyone who spoke English working for the cleanup contractor. I'll eat my hat if any of them were legal.
I don't think they spent much effort worrying about OSHA regs either.
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On Jan 15, 9:47am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

And how is is reporting the contractor to INS or OSHA going to get the OP his money back? It may make him feel better but if anything, it will make it even harder to recover money owed.
The OP stated that the contract provided for mediation. He can get a legal opinion as to the validity of that clause. But if mediation is specified in the contract, it's likely that it's valid and that's the route this should go. If the OP is right, he has a decent chance of prevailing. It's interesting that the contract provides for mediation. I would not expect to find that in a contract with a real shyster.
However, I agree with RBM and others. If the contractor is a shyster, then whether you get an award through mediation or the courts, collecting it is quite another matter. The real shysters have been throught this dozens of times and make sure they are judgement proof.
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What State are you in? Some states have consumer fraud laws that allow you to collect triple damages plus your attorney fees. If you are in one of those States, and your case has merit, many Consumer Law attorneys will take the case on a contingency fee basis -- PLUS you get to get MORE than just your money back and your legal fees won't be deducted from what you recover from the contractor. Look in the Yellow Pages under Lawyers, then see the "Lawyers Guide" in the middle of that section, then pick one or more Consumer Law attorneys and start there.
In most areas, you can contact your local Bar Association (also listed in that same Yellow Pages section) and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney in your area. The way it usually works is they give the name of one attorney and, as part of the referral program, that attorney agrees to provide a 1/2-hour in-person consultation for something like $25 or $30. Take all your stuff to that attorney. If you don't like the attorney, you don't have to use him/her. You can always call back to the referral service and get another name.
If you do either of the above, you will know exactly what you can and cannot do in your specific situation. If you don't do either of the above, I think you will spend your time going around and around playing silly games with this fool.
Good luck.

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You're joking, right? You're a troll? You're a spineless human being?
Go to the man and demand your money back. If he says no, don't threaten to do anything. Just go to the Contractor's board in your state and file a complaint. If you're in a good state, they will be able to help you. If not, kiss your money goodbye and move on. File on him for the maximum your small claims court will allow. More than that will cost you that much in legal fees, and your cut will fit in a thimble.
Stop with all this "I'm about to get stern" shit and do something. Be a man.
Steve
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