Was the check sent through the mail, or electronically? Might have some teeth there too.
I have worked with the builder for years. Actually he has tried to hire me to be a supervisor several times. I would like to think over the years, he has learned from my reports. His houses are as close to perfect as any builder I know. Now days I have to work to find anything. This was a new home. There was some touch ups needed, cosmetic for the most part. And I noted that in the report. His complaint was that I did not find enough to warrant payment for the inspection. He said the water pressure was not good. It was 65psi. He said I didn’t check the electrical, a light bulb was out in one of the dining rooms. If I make a mistake, I cover it. In this case totally bogus claims.
I spoke with my lawyer. She said he could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor. Stopping payment on a check is against the law, in most circumstances. He wrote the check in front of me, handed the check to me. Signed my PIA the day before.
First, I have absolute confidence in my inspection. Any challenge in court would be a slam dunk for me. I have no doubt. I know he has a family. Hurting him, would hurt them. I guess in the long run and after much thought, I will probably just let it go. I feel sorry for his family, and in the long run, it will come back to him.
He is not from the USA so maybe he just don’t understand most of our ways.
People will repeat those behaviors which are rewarded. I try to ensure that there is no profit in misdeeds. Something I think all honest, law abiding persons owe to each other. If he profits by cheating you, you can be asured that he will cheat others in the same manner.
I guess there are some—not me of course—who’d say life’s way too short to deal with most foreigners who use the language gap to imply they didn’t understand the PIA for the purpose of turning a report into a future warranty of condition or the fee into a quid pro quo for nickel and diming the seller to death after the fact. The worst thing would be letting this chiseling bum screw you out of hundreds and cause you so much grief instead of the seller he assumed he was hiring you to set up.
Clint, the best thing for your peace of mind will be to let this guy go - forgive and forget him, but learn the lesson: Always cash the check before sending the report.
Perhaps filing a lien on the property, if you can do that in the USA.
I may be wrong, but I don’t believe that you can do that unless your client owns the property at the time you performed the service. In most pre-sale inspection scenarios, the property owner has no obligation to you. Not sure that liens are an option for the type of service we provide in all states anyway.
In Texas, the thing to do would be to file a “Theft of Service” criminal complaint with the Sheriff’s office or even just threaten to.
Gotcha, I missed the part it was for a client and not the builder.
Clint, you are a good man and my God bless you! However, (I’m not in the business yet and studying to become an inspector) regardless if the man is from here or from another country, the rules are the same, you hire you pay! In some places in the world, the consequens can be serious for scamming people that way. I have a feeling if someone stole from him half of the amount he did to you, he would fight to the end to get his money. I believe the suggestion given by Marcel Gratton writing a letter demanding full payment or you will send it to collection agency that will hurt his credit and making it clear to him that writing a bad check is a criminal offense in the United States of America and that you will file a claim to the authorities.