Contractors walking away with money

5 Replies

I hired a handyman who probably called himself a contractor running a business under Bentleys LLC in jersey city,Nj. Basically we paid him upfront of 50% of the amount agreed upon to buy materials (kitchen cabinets/bathroom vanity/ faucets/ tiles/paint.ec)

He basically bought in tiles/backsplash and 3 bottom cabinets/paint and then most likely he used up the money on personal expenses and stopped showing up to the site. He was basically very irresponsible and unprofessional did not even have courtesy to call and let us know he won’t be working due to xyz reason. Everyday he would say he would come tomorrow but that tomorrow never came. He has all his tools laying around all over the house. I texted him to send me proof of all the receipt since he claimed materials were pre ordered but he was just fooling us and thinking we were dumb enough not to catch his lies everyday. What cabinets take 3 weeks to bring from nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s.

His name is Al Remillard and I would appreciate advice on want can be done to show him his right place and to ensure his reputation is hurt if he has any to begin with. It’s absolutely disgusting to see such people calling themselves professionals who have zero ethics or integrity. Something needs to be done to help others who actually work hard for every penny and are honest. It was an absolute nightmare dealing with such people who think they can really be big business professionals who have zero to none experience and act worse than school kids.

Originally posted by @Ruchi Patel :

I hired a handyman who probably called himself a contractor running a business under Bentleys LLC in jersey city,Nj. Basically we paid him upfront of 50% of the amount agreed upon to buy materials (kitchen cabinets/bathroom vanity/ faucets/ tiles/paint.ec)

He basically bought in tiles/backsplash and 3 bottom cabinets/paint and then most likely he used up the money on personal expenses and stopped showing up to the site. He was basically very irresponsible and unprofessional did not even have courtesy to call and let us know he won’t be working due to xyz reason. Everyday he would say he would come tomorrow but that tomorrow never came. He has all his tools laying around all over the house. I texted him to send me proof of all the receipt since he claimed materials were pre ordered but he was just fooling us and thinking we were dumb enough not to catch his lies everyday. What cabinets take 3 weeks to bring from nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s.

His name is Al Remillard and I would appreciate advice on want can be done to show him his right place and to ensure his reputation is hurt if he has any to begin with. It’s absolutely disgusting to see such people calling themselves professionals who have zero ethics or integrity. Something needs to be done to help others who actually work hard for every penny and are honest. It was an absolute nightmare dealing with such people who think they can really be big business professionals who have zero to none experience and act worse than school kids.

 This type of stuff is a very real problem in the contracting industry. It's actually super common. This is why those of us who've been in the renovation business for a long time chuckle when all of these investors get on here talking about working contractors against one another and running them through this hoop or that hoop so they can drive the price down. It's nonsensical really because when you're looking for cheap contractors you run into this stuff all the time. Those who've been doing this a long time gravitate towards the bigger outfits that have a reputation to protect. No issue paying more when you know that your job is gonna get done 100% of the time.

You can butcher him on any review site, take him to court, file a complaint with the BBB, etc.

I bet you already know this now. But the more money you give upfront, the more risk exposure you have. That's why investors pay in phases or pay for a portion of materials. A lot and I mean a lot of people have had this problem. You aren't alone. I had one steal $4,000 from me. I chalked it up as a win for not giving him more money to start with.

When possible get references. Verify them. Check licensing. As James said, I no longer worry about getting the cheapest price. I want the job done right the first time. An expensive lesson I learned was years ago when I was concerned about what it would cost to get some tile laid. I went with the cheapest guy. He laid maybe 200 SF, did a poor job at that, and just quit showing up. I lost at LEAST a months rent if not longer. I then went to a tile store and had them refer me to someone. I didn't question price. I had them come in, do the job, and paid them. 

That's why you always, always get a material list and buy it yourself.  Not only can you shop around, but you're not charged the customary "shopping fee" by contractors.  Then you simply get a labor bid from the contractor/sub.  Go on any local for sale and homes for rent/sale pages on FB and let people know.  Leave a complaint on the BBB.  Don't know much about NJ, but if there a registrar of contractors make a complaint there.  If he's acting as a general contractor and isn't licensed, bonded or etc with the city, he could be in violation possibly.  File a consumer complaint with the Attorney General, they could have ongoing fraud cases with him already.  Finally, file suit.  If the amount stolen is really substantial, use the courts.  If you have an attorney friend, get him to send him something official with a letterhead to try and get him to settle, because you don't want him finishing anything.  Could always sell his tools on FB too lol.  Keep your posts complaining about him factual, not emotional.  Simply state what he said he would do, what he didn't and how much money you gave him.

You could always make a 'Dishonest Contractors of Jersey City' FB page and put your complaint and their name/LLC. Share the mess out of the page and that will allow others to enter information and the contents of a page are easily searchable by others. Maybe get with an attorney first so that you don't slip into any type of defamation. But saying your going to do something, taking someone's money and then not providing the agreed service is dishonest.

Justin

Also,

This is a huge phenomenon on FB regarding food establishments.  Having a very transparent and accessible way to make complaints about restaurants has really changed local restaurants and their attention to their establishment's cleanliness, food quality and customer service.

In Jersey there is simple Solution which called A surety Bond. You get a Contractor who has such a Bonded and licensed. 

Make sure you have a contract. 

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