Did not get paid! (First time ever)

Here’s an unusual situation I haven’t experienced before. I recently performed an inspection on a 6,000 sf home with swimming pool/spa the other day. Client followed me around asking questions the entire time and very involved in the whole process. Slowed it down a bit but more than happy to have him with me. He was very happy with the process and information I provided. When it comes time to pay , he says he forgot to bring his credit card. Not a problem (or so I thought) because he can pay when the report is ready for viewing/downloading. Report automatically releases once payment is made.

Here’s where it gets weird. As we were about to get in our vehicles and drive away there is a huge BOOM. Rattles windows and everything. The home is near a Marine Base and that is sometimes heard when training. Never heard it that loud though and it didn’t last long. His face was total shock. Anyway, he chose to pull out of escrow that night because he didn’t realize the house was near a marine base. He didn’t even bother looking at report and feels he shouldn’t have to pay me now. Signed agreement also. I performed my end of the agreement. My question is I’m not sure how to proceed and am reaching out for suggestions.

Sorry for the ramble and thank you for any suggestions.

Scott Mantecon
Pacific West Home Inspection

Payment before starting the inspection works!


You gave him to much information on the walk around.


Your PIA should have a clause dealing with payment, nonpayment, and early cancellations. Outside of the signed PIA, it’s going to be difficult to collect.

Evening, Scott.
Hope this post find you well.

Likely a sonic boom from a plane. The client is likely nervous. They will likely come around in a couple of days.

There are several options.
1: Inform the realtor, vendors agent, you have not been paid and could he reach out the the client on your behalf explaining the legality of the real estate transaction where it says upon the home inspectors findings. If they get dragged into this they will become ‘witness of fact.’
Professional realtors will help.
Have the realtor, if they have not already, contact the base to see what the noise was from. Explain professionally, ‘It would not be wise to have inspectors recounting the load boom with inspecting properties in that area.’
2: Reply the the client by certified letter. Explain you provided your professional service and he agreed to the service. Give him/her 10 days to make payment in full or you will have to seek a collection company to recover lost funds plus any applicable funds used to collect your fee.
Sign the letter at the bottom ‘without prejudice.’
That scar on his/her credit rating may prevent him/her from a future mortgage. That will make them think twice.
Hope those suggestions help.


Good Evening, Robert, All is well, Hope all is good with you.

If he has definitely refused to pay send it to a collection agency.
Perhaps he will make good or they will put it on his credit report.
Then, when he goes to apply for a mortgage, they’ll tell him he has to pay it off.


Yes, everything is going well thank you.

My reply was to the OP, Scott Mantecon but I am happy you replied as well.

Scott Bridges. Never worry about giving solid information. It makes your name.

Keep well!

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Which base were you near?

Money was put into escrow account So what I would of done was sent a unpaid invoice to the company who is holding the escrow money and ask for a demand for payment and also send them a copy of the signed contract. This should get you your money for inspection.

I was not paid once, early in my career, for a large inspection by an out of state client. I sent the report and expected the payment to follow. It did not…

I called and got the “it’s in the mail” routine. So, I asked my attorney what I could do. He said that it would cost more to go after the slacker than it was worth and that I should get paid before leaving for the inspection.

So, throughout the rest of my career, with a few unusual exceptions, I did not leave my house without a signed inspection agreement and payment. And, believe it or not, I got only a couple of push backs on it but after I explained my situation they happily paid, in advance. :grin:


Bingo. This is probably your best bet at this point.

I am with Kevin and have done exactly that. Sent a letter to the escrow company…

Inform your client that that the sonic boom was the sound of freedom


The escrow is for the benefit of the seller. They have no responsibility for the buyer’s rights and obligations so I’d be surprised if that worked.

Then, be surprised.

I have a clause in my contract that basically states if they cancel their contract, payment is still due in full for the inspection services rendered. In your case, you can ask the real estate agents to tell him he has to pay you for the inspection… otherwise it would have to go to small claims court.

Very simple answer…You performed a service and you deserve to be paid. Period. Nothing else matters.

Maybe file in Small Claims Court? I know it takes time out of another day’s inspection slots, but with a signed Agreement and completed Inspection and Report to offer as evidence, judge should rule in your favor.

Scott - I would certainly also reach out to the agent they are working with. If the RE agent has any integrity, they will make sure the client pays you. I am sure it will get taken care of, as the agent will also want to keep a relationship with you for the work.