Monday, May 01, 2006

Why I Created a Blog

Given the fact that more and more blogs are flooding the Internet every day, why create another one? In my practice, I see homeowners and home contractors making the same mistakes over and over again. While doctors try to persuade patients that they should come in for a yearly physical, as a lawyer, I rarely see clients unless they are having a problem. Unfortunately, the problem has usually escalated by the time the client will call. If only I had the opportunity to exercise some "preventative" care, these matters might not end up being as complicated and costly.

For example, Massachusetts has a very strict home improvement contractor law that is weighted towards the "consumer" side of the transaction. Home contractors' contracts have to be in compliance with this law, or they will automatically be deemed to have violated the consumer protection statute, M.G.L. c. 93A. Any violation of 93A entitles the consumer to the possibility of double or triple damages, attorney's fees, interests and costs.

Let's say a contractor wants to bring a claim against a homeowner for failure to pay his bill. The homeowner will then counterclaim (sue) the contractor for not complying with the law. Even if the contractor has a legitimate claim, he or she runs the risk of paying double or treble damages, attorney's fees, interest and costs.

If that contractor were to consult with me in advance, and make sure that his contract is in compliance, he would be able to pursue his claim without facing a potentially damaging countersuit. That is a small example of how prevention can save quite a bit of money and hassle in the long run.

Obviously, if one is about to sign a contract for a small sum, consulting with an attorney might not be worth it. It amazes me however, that clients will sign contracts for $400,000.00 additions without having an attorney look over the paperwork, or calling more than one reference.

If my blog prevents one individual from getting into trouble, then the time I am spending on this topic will be worthwhile. Comments are welcome.


At 8:17 PM, Blogger GG Connecticut Homeowner said...

If I had found your blog prior to hiring a deadbeat contractor in 2005, it certainly would have helped me steer clear of this bad guy.
Like so many fraud victims, the deadbeat conned his way into our lives and got us to trust him. we paid him nearly $300,000 before we finally fired him.
He caused an enormous amount of damages and certainly robbed us of a good deal of money.
He retaliated to his termination by placing a frivolous, undeserved lien on our home for yet another $250,000 to "twist the knife" in our backs!
We took him to court and won. We were able to then put a lien on his home for the judgement. We discovered SEVERAL liens on his personal home and for the two spec homes he built with the money he stole from us.
He then decides to file bankruptcy. His spec homes never sold [one had its roof cave in due to faulty workmanship] and were foreclosed on and now his own personal home is in foreclosure.
He is reaping the destruction that he sowed.
The horrible lesson learned here was that you NEVER go with someone who just "seems nice" because a good salesman is all that many of the deadbeats are.
We should have done a thorough background check on this guy, including financial credit information... this would have revealed someone who did not have the financial security to be running a business.


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