HELP...😩😩😩Any Thoughts? Advice?

7 Replies


Here’s the situation: 

I purchased a triplex using a FHA 203k in October of 2019.

November 2019 (3 weeks after I purchased it-the 203k contractor (his workers) caused a fire at the property. 

I’ve been struggling to get the insurance company to pay me the total damages; they are trying to settle below what it cost to repair/restore the damages. Gave me a random number without giving me proof of what this number covered...had me wait for 4 months just to give me the same random number again. I couldn’t believe it. 

I hired a public adjuster. He is working on it. 

Now I need to renew my insurance policy, but I’m having a hard time with this. Seems uninsurable with the structure not being sound. 

Also paying for this property each month while it’s vacant hasn’t been a walk in the park.

It’s been almost a year and I still have not gotten a settlement from the insurance company, but the public adjuster is working on it. 

The contractor is saying I owe him money for the work that he awful...

This was my first time out and I’m drowning. I’m trying to say afloat.

Does anyone have any sound advice to give me at this point? 

I've tried contacting HUD, etc. it's like no one is helping me and I need a breakthrough with this situation. If anyone can offer any assistance, that would be great.

I‘ve reached out for legal advice, but I haven’t had any success there either...well one lawyer directed me to the public adjuster...So that was helpful...

Thanks for your comments, feedback, suggestions...

        @Stacie Katori

        If the contractor caused the fire (and this is verifiable) you should have gone through his insurance. Maybe you still can. That’s why they carry insurance in the first place.

        That said it may be uninsurable at this point. It may actually make sense to let the lender put it on their forced place policy because not too many insurers will want to step up to that. This is a semi expensive option but it may be your only option.

        Good luck,


        Ok, thanks for the information. I will look into this. Yes, it states in the fire report that the fire started as a result of open flames coming from the roof (the contractor’s were working on the roof-one of the contractor’s workers even told the investigator what happened). It’s a mess...I should have been more aggressive at handling all of these moving parts a bit better...I think I’ve been too passive and expecting everyone to do the right thing when that hasn’t been the case...


        The public claims adjuster can be the reason why your claim is dragging along.  Do you know what the PCA has done to date as far as settlement/demand.  Have you reviewed the damage/inventory list to ensure everything has been included and calculated for and why have they not put in a loss of use claim to have you partially paid for the unlivable space?  Your insurance company should have subrogated a claim against the contractors liability policy and have already paid you out while they wait to get settled in 'Good Faith Best Practices"!

        You should not be waiting for them you should be paid already for loss or use and rental.

        Thanks, the claims adjuster in January sent out a $72,000 estimate. I asked him what this included, he said all damages. Servpro restoration company’s estimate for the work they’ve done (they gutted the entire back of the house-there was water and fire damage) was $32,000. My new contractor’s estimate for replacing all of the damages was $220,000. $72,000 was clearly not enough, so I didn’t sign the Proof of Loss Settlement Statement. 

        That's when I got a public adjuster. Now they aren't renewing my policy, I have been paying a mortgage (the claims adjuster stated I didn't have mortgage coverage in my policy-it was a builder's risk policy: due to the FHA 203k). Also, when I asked the claims adjuster what did this $72,000 cover, he did not send me a breakdown. He just through out a random number...It's all a big mess...

        @Stacie Katori - so sorry this happened on your first property.  Seems like there's a lot going on here.  If you'd like to chat, please feel free to reach out.  We navigate insurance companies all the time and speak the language.

        A couple of thoughts though:

        - You can and should navigate this through either your own company or the contractors company.  I can tell from the above if you've gone down both paths but if you haven't, you should.

        - You should renew the policy with your current company. If they try to cancel because of the fire damage, get your agent to advocate for you. I'll call them if you like. It's unfair when a company tries to cancel what a claim hasn't been completed and no other company is going to want to insure the fire damaged house. The current company is by far the best option.

        - You may be able to get lost income coverage.  It's going to be hard because you don't have comps from a previous year but it seems worth asking about.

        - As for the numbers, if you have a Replacement Cost coverage policy, it ultimately should pay the cost to replace (up to the liit on your policy).  The Public Adjuster will help you with this part.

        Feel free to reach out if you simply need to bounce things off someone.

        @Stacie Katori

        If I were you, I would have been on the phone with an attorney yesterday :) I know it seems daunting to involve an attorney, but this is definitely a situation where you want legal representation. Here's a great article about what you should ask any attorney you reach out to in order to make sure they're qualified to help you with real estate problems.

        Best of luck!

        Thanks, I’ve reach out to multiple attorneys and none of them were able to help me. Well one referred me to a public adjuster, which I’m working with now. I’m going to read the article, and reach out to everyone I can to get all of these things moving. It’s a big mess right now, but I know with the right people/help I can get through this...thx again!!