I will try to make this short, but that won't be easy. On September 8th, our home caught fire and we are unable to live in it currently. Our neighbor and supposed friend who happens to have a General Contracting company on the side told my wife and I he will take care of us. Of course.
We did not enter into any contract, everything was strictly verbal, which I realize was a mistake to trust anyone with this. He started the job by sending in some people to wipe down furniture, pack contents and move items into the garage. Once done, they then proceeded to demo by removing the drywall and insulation from the house. By this time I finally got the 1st 33% of the insurance money back from the mortgage company.
I called this guy and asked him to invoice me for the work done so far and I would pay him and we could get to work. He sent me an invoice for $30,000 and wanted me to send almost 90% of the total initial amount I got, to him with no contract. I told him that wasn't going to happen. After much thinking, I told him thanks for his help, but I am going to do this myself and to send me an invoice for the work done. He sent me an invoice for $20,000.
When I initially asked him for an estimate he said he could, but it would be pointless since his estimate would mirror the insurance companies estimate and that I could just go by that. Well, the insurance company allowed $5600 for the demo etc, yet this guy thinks I am going to pay him an additional $14,000 for nothing?
The problem I have is that the mortgage company has told me that since I this guy as my General contractor since the start, that HE has to give them verbal and written acknowledgement that he has been paid in full and is no longer doing the work. So, he might as well be demanding $100,000.
I got quotes from 2 other contractors that all say the insurance estimate is about right on the money and this guy is a crook. In addition, the invoices he sent me are obviously fraudulent since he put about 3 times the hours down that his people spent in the home, we were around every day. He also wrote down 48 boxes packed, when there are only 18. When I asked him about the inflated numbers, his response was, "That is the cost of doing business and I didn't know the exact number of boxes they packed so I put down what sounds right."
I also have witnesses, including my son and a neighbor that saw his workers loading up and taking all of the ceiling fans in the house away. That was my property and theft as far as I am concerned.
To top it all off, this guy works as a licensed insurance adjuster for another company. Isn't what he is doing a conflict of interest that could put his license and job at risk?