Got a question for you guys

I been a licensed inspector and a INACHI member since 2006. A couple of weeks ago had something happened that has never happened before. I did a inspection on a new home. I have known the builder for years. Good guy always takes care of anything I find.
First time I go there the home is no where near done. So I call the client, tell him the home is not ready for inspection. Utilities not even on. I leave. Lost appointment, cost me $325.00
The next week I go back, do the inspection. Well I found probably a dozen minor issues. I have the PIA already signed. Then he pays me with a check. Seems happy.

I cash the check a couple of days later. Couple of days after that, I get a letter in the mail. He had stopped payment on the check right after he wrote it. I called him and asked what’s the problem? He said I didn’t find enough wrong with the home and it wasn’t worth paying me for the inspection.

Now, the money doesn’t mean that much to me. But this guy has kinda pissed me off. The more I think about it, what he did is wrong. The way I see it, breach of contract, and theft of services. I am not a attorney, so I don’t know all the legal stuff. Did want to get some of youalls opinion’s. What would you do? Don’t really want to do the small claims thing. But I would like to know what some thing about this.
Thank you

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Small claims may not be worth it but now you know how he is. :expressionless:

…and where he lives…

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Yea I do know where he lives. I chose to pray to the lord and have faith. His actions will come back to him at some point.

As for action you have answered your own question here (see bold) if you are willing to pursue it. Check your State laws to determine if it falls into “Theft of service” as it does here in Texas. I would politely let them know you are prepared to file a criminal complaint unless they are willing to make proper payment. If they choose not to pay then file a criminal complaint and let the chips fall where they may.

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You could get a collection agency involved. Around here if the agency don’t collect, you don’t pay and the client gets bad credit. Send him a few notices along with a copy of the invoice and then a final demand for payment.

Re: FINAL DEMAND FOR PAYMENT
Dear
Despite our best efforts to resolve your past due account, payment for this invoice has still not been made.
We are informing you that this is your final notice and last opportunity to make payment.
Unless we have your payment for $325.00 by September 26, 2019, we shall forward this account to a collection agency. Such action may adversely affect your credit rating.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, call the undersigned immediately at .

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This cost me total $650. 2 trips for no pay. 2 spots where I could have earned money. In a way I feel like I am doing a injustice to our industry if I do not take action. I did call the builder and told him to beware. Not sure what to do yet, but thank you for inputs. I was told I could cash his check in 6 mouths. Unless he refiles. Under $500 its a misdemeanor, over 500 its a felony.

There are a lot of things you can do. Many may cost more that what you would collect.
However you can’t go wrong with prayer.

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I know it feels like a betrayal, especially after you took your time & effort to do the job, and it hurts. However, you did extremely well if this is the first time in so long! I wouldn’t let the “first” time be the reason for pursuing the payment. You won’t change this person even if you do get your money. To them it’s a game just like it may be to you, to see who prevails. If your time & effort is worth chasing the payment then do it, otherwise I’d just write it off or let a collection agency deal with it. Remember, they get part of the payment. I believe if they decided to stop a check payment they will fight till the end not to pay you.

Passing a bad check, violated the law!

The guy deserves the consequences of his rip-off actions.
I would take the time & see if I could register the bad check with

Even if you only recover 50%, he should get credit reporting & his score will drop if he does not fork it over. :cowboy_hat_face:

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File a criminal complaint, let someone else investigate it (he probably does this often), just make his day if nothing else.

Passing a bad check in Maryland is a felony, not that anyone is willing to pursue it. Next time use your bank’s mobile deposit feature, get it in the bank before they can put a stop payment.

Yep!..Sheriff’s department, or such.

Every state is different but you may also be able to file a lien against the property. If the settlement hasn’t occurred yet you could also approach the title company and explain the situation. They may be able to cut you a check from the settlement as long as you provide the documentation. Ask the builder for the info.

Also:
I have had the problem of the builder not being ready for the scheduled inspection a couple of times. I have had success charging the builder through the customer for missed inspection costs on several occasions. They knew the house wasn’t going to be ready and couldn’t pick up the phone to reschedule so they should pay for your lost time.

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I would file a complaint with the D.A. regarding the check. Business is business.

If there’s a realtor involved make sure the realtor knows you have not been paid for services. Do this in writing by certified mail. Before they close on a property all workmen have to have been paid and the home has to be free from any potential liens. The realtor could just dismiss your claim and fail to mention it at closing but technically they’re not supposed to do that. If they client has no realtor then it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth but writing a bad check is against the law…and they’re a lot of people in jail for writing bad checks…go to magistrate…

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In all honesty I’ve been doing these types of inspections for a bit longer than you and most likely this is a one-off low statistical event which on second thought be best looked at as getting off easy, who knows where this could escalate to.

Our of curiosity, did you ask him to explain why he felt that way specifically? Not that it’s an excuse, but I’m wondering if he had found items or any other reason to say something or just expected more things to be wrong.