A couple of questions - REO Property Preservation Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-24-2015, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of questions

Hello all,
I have been lurking here for quite some time. I originally started out working for a contractor, under their licensing and such while I learned the trade, we were from different parts of the state and as business dried up ( for the nationals/regionals in this area we parted on very good terms. IN fact, he has helped me a lot while I go out on my own.

I have tried to do things the right way, I am in the process of obtaining my general liability policy with E/O add on.. and incorporating my business. Here is my issue. I was told that I do not qualify for the contractor license for residental or commercial because I do not build new residences, I do not do major renovation etc..

So, my next step was to just get a simple business license, but I know from here that you all frown upon that, so am I answering the questions wrong in terms of getting the state to allow me to take the test? I have done the practice tests online.. I have taken a ton of free courses ( and my step father and his brother in law are both contractors with both residential and commercial licenses and both have been so for over 30 years.. and they are both like you are just a handy man.. get a business license, call us to do any major work)

Which brings me to my next thing. I do lawns, I do maid service, I do locks, I do trash outs.. I have learned to identify types of minor and major damage and I am very careful to list everything that I see, ad naseum in fact from my handler at the regional I am working for.. they have actually been very fair with me and gave me the names of multiple insurance companies and said if you can find one that gives you a better rate let us know and we will add it to our lists of ones that we recommend.
I have asked for guidance when it comes to bidding from my family members since they obviously have many years of experience, and while I am sre that many of my bids are well outside the norm for preservation work, if I dont get it , i dont care.. because I know that they are both very fair and honest( not from me but from their customers and the fact that they have no complaints or if there have been they have been minor and fixed)

Anyway, that is the first issue..

My second issue has to do with a local contractor that I worked for, for 2 months.. I did work at the begining of Feb he said net 30 and I was ok with that, it was suppossed to be weekly after that point, in writing.. well then i got a call he needed some work done well out of my area.. he had not paid me and it had been 5 weeks, so I called him, he said he had failed to get two things signed by me, he would send them and i would be paid later that day.. which i was, but it was somewhat short, when I called and he sent me the paperwork, he said that safeguard had not paid on three of the jobs.. so I said ok.. because I am well aware that safe guard is a pain in the arse.. so I went and did a bunch of work.. then still did not get paid.. I told him to please not send me any more jobs in his area as it was too far too drive when I was not getting paid regularly.. then I had two weeks of major truck issues ( which I called immediately and notified him, he said no worries just finish what was in my queue when i could ) well I called, texted or emailed daily, finally advised I was buying a new truck and that i would finish the jobs as soon as I could.. he got very upset with me and said one needed to be done today, my truck ( had a u joint go, then i had ball joint, then water electrical system issue.. majopr, then fuel pump and then water pump all within a few days well within 2 weeks.. the truck has over 230,000 miles on it been well maintained ( my boy friend is an ase certified mechanic)
So, i tell him, no can do.. i cant get there.. ( i had started the job, then it stormed and I wasnt able to finish- needed to be mowed and trimmed- had done the intial secure, padlock hasp, wint, etc.. but it started storming and had standing water before the mow and hedge trim could take place, i uploaded all the pictures.. and told him, look i cant finish, i told you the day of that I couldnt get back the next day plus it rained for 4 days straight.. he runs 3 or 4 other crews in that town, i was just suppossed to be doing some work he got behind on.. so I said look, get one of the crews to do it, just pay me for my actual locks, antifreeze and hard ware and pay them for the whole job to make it more lucrative for them to go do that little quicky.. well i assumed it was resolved didnt hear back.. then i get a call a week later freaking out that it wasnt done..
by this time I have bought the new truck, a new mower.. but I am flat broke and tell him until i get paid from you, i can not and will not drive the 100 miles to do to the job.. i upheld my end of the deal you didnt uphold yours..

so we have issues with one other job.. for whatever reason we had trouble with the pictures uploading.. i sent 1000 pictutes via drop box, he couldnt get them mind you he originally had my send them that way.. and then put me on ppw.. so anyway, it jsut sucks.. he says he isnt going to pay me for that job. mind you i was there two days in a row doing all kinds of work.. and it was nasty the roof had fallen in in one room, someone had been murdered in another.. it was just not a great thing.. i had actually called him multiple times since the work order had call and they kept approving work so I kepot doing

long and short he never paid me, he said he did, then when I said no you didnt I get that there was a problem with the payment going through and he would pay me when the money was back in his account.. I have tried to contact him via phone, text and email.. he will not respond. the very last email I sent advised him that if I did not receive payment within 72 hours that I would go to the BBB, send a breach of contract /ethics violation to the licensing board, as well as sue him in small claims court.. this is a man that I couldn't find anything negative about online, had all of his licenses, has been in business, has two businesses in his name and I tried to do due diligence before going to work for him. he is out of Baton Rouge. Anyway, is there anything else that I can do? I had worked for a different preservation company out of baton rouge and was treated with the utmost fairness and respect, the original one gave me training, help, he still is what I would consider my mentor ( paul sacco) but the one i went to work after ( property pros services/S. Hebert) not so fair.. granted I did not finish a job.. but that was after I had not been paid in 9 weeks, after I had told him I did not want any more jobs in BR but he continued to give them to me and after I told him that there was no way I could finish the job..

The only other thing that I can do is to send a certified letter, return receipt requested to both addresses that I have for him...

not sure what to do exactly

and while I like the regional I am working for, I am terrified to try to pick up more work from either a contractor or one of the other regionals in the area ( Surety keeps calling, then you have Taylor and Sons and some company out of NJ.. )

I am not knew to running my own business. I have trained horses and taught lessons for over 20 years.. so I get it.. I know all about taking money out for taxes, for your equipment, wear and tear, etc..

I was a medic but I wanted to be at home more.. for my child, so I liked the thought of adding on and I have made good money and decent money.. and then the no money issue.. there are some great local guys like my original /mentor Paul S.. but then there are the ones that do things like Property Pros Servicing LLC /S Hebert that make me grumble and try to figure out how to recoup..

I always told him I did not want to go to Baton Rouge to work but if he got in a bind that I would be a team player and help him out. So i did.. but he screwed me in return

Nicole
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 12:00 AM
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Hi

nicole break down your questions into simpler form.you wrote a book on couple of questions,all i can say is every state is different with licensing and insurance,best of luck to you
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 10:59 AM
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In most states all you would need is a business license and general liability/e&o insurance to perform property preservation work. You typically wouldn't need a general contractors license for property preservation work unless you were actually performing major renovation work. Just because you are a property preservation "contractor" does not mean you need a contractors license. These are two different things.

As far as not being paid, do you have written proof that this company gave you work? I mean do you have emails from him authorizing you to proceed with the work? If you do and have photos proving you did the work, then you would have a pretty solid case against them in small claims court. It is very simple to file the claim paperwork at your courthouse. Also, having a sheriff show up at their door with a court summons usually is a major motivator getting people to pay their overdue bills.

As far as the rest of your situation, it sounds like miscommunications on both your parts. Clear communication in business is very important. Calling your customer to let him know your setbacks is necessary. Its also a good idea to always follow a call up with an email reviewing what you talked about on the phone "per our conversation". This gives you a chance to make sure you are both on the same page because too often things get misunderstood over the phone. It also gives you written proof later when you might need it.

It sounds like you have a lot of your equipment technical issues ironed out now so that is a good thing.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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UHHH OHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I read SAFEGUARD in there somewhere so I quit reading and went to my default answer. . . . ."RUUUNNNNNN!!!!!!! FAAARRRRR!!!!!! AND FAASSSSTTTTTTT!!!!!!!" it is quit possible you may go broke trying to chase down money owed to you, your time and effort would be better spent looking for someone else to work for. just my 2cents
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.. yes I have run far far away

Have the general business license.. I just see a lot of the people griping about not having proper licensing and insurance.. I signed my paperwork for insurance Friday.. so that is done..


I do have all of the paperwork, from screen shots of ppw, to all of his emails and text messages.. I reconfirm every thing in writing if he called, I would be annoying and text back, so you are saying do xyz.. I have been in the horse industry and business which has its own share of scammers, jerks, and bad business persons to fill up a state.. so I am not blind

yes, technical issues are worked out, new truck ( was due, just hated to do it. i always save, buy new, pay cash, drive until i put 225,000-300,000 on them)

I am not doing nearly as much work, but the work I am doing pays fair market for the area.. $55 for an initial 12 inches or below less than an acre, and $35 for a recut.. is about what the yard services get here, actually in my home town, some most gegt $30 a week unless it is a big yard.. so I do a little more work with the pictures but the rate is fair..

I don't have a huge amount of work with the regional, but I would rather have slow, steady work that I am paid an honest wage, rather than a lot of work and screwed.. i can get screwed working at any barn in the area.. don't need it.. so between the work I am doing now.. and a few riding lessons, boarding a few horses.. it means I can be a full time mom and work.. and pay the bills, not perfect, would love to pick up more work with honest, regionals that pay fairly but that is sort of a nonentity.


and yes, some of the issues were miscommunications, although since I have every text message and email... i dont see how he can see it that way.. I have since found out, he screwed another girl, for over $5000... he has not screwed any of the guys that work for him that I know of, so apparently, I am not the first... but at least I was smarter and quit long before he owed me that kind of money. I have been in business ( maybe not this one, but still business ) for far too long to get screwed that badly ( last time I ended up with the race horses I was training, got stiffed for $8000 worth of training/vet bills/etc got stuck with the horses and never got paid, got a judgement but never paid)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louisiana View Post
hello all,
i have been lurking here for quite some time. I originally started out working for a contractor, under their licensing and such while i learned the trade, we were from different parts of the state and as business dried up ( for the nationals/regionals in this area we parted on very good terms. In fact, he has helped me a lot while i go out on my own.

I have tried to do things the right way, i am in the process of obtaining my general liability policy with e/o add on.. And incorporating my business. Here is my issue. I was told that i do not qualify for the contractor license for residental or commercial because i do not build new residences, i do not do major renovation etc..

So, my next step was to just get a simple business license, but i know from here that you all frown upon that, so am i answering the questions wrong in terms of getting the state to allow me to take the test? I have done the practice tests online.. I have taken a ton of free courses ( and my step father and his brother in law are both contractors with both residential and commercial licenses and both have been so for over 30 years.. And they are both like you are just a handy man.. Get a business license, call us to do any major work)

which brings me to my next thing. I do lawns, i do maid service, i do locks, i do trash outs.. I have learned to identify types of minor and major damage and i am very careful to list everything that i see, ad naseum in fact from my handler at the regional i am working for.. They have actually been very fair with me and gave me the names of multiple insurance companies and said if you can find one that gives you a better rate let us know and we will add it to our lists of ones that we recommend.
I have asked for guidance when it comes to bidding from my family members since they obviously have many years of experience, and while i am sre that many of my bids are well outside the norm for preservation work, if i dont get it , i dont care.. Because i know that they are both very fair and honest( not from me but from their customers and the fact that they have no complaints or if there have been they have been minor and fixed)

anyway, that is the first issue..

My second issue has to do with a local contractor that i worked for, for 2 months.. I did work at the begining of feb he said net 30 and i was ok with that, it was suppossed to be weekly after that point, in writing.. Well then i got a call he needed some work done well out of my area.. He had not paid me and it had been 5 weeks, so i called him, he said he had failed to get two things signed by me, he would send them and i would be paid later that day.. Which i was, but it was somewhat short, when i called and he sent me the paperwork, he said that safeguard had not paid on three of the jobs.. So i said ok.. Because i am well aware that safe guard is a pain in the arse.. So i went and did a bunch of work.. Then still did not get paid.. I told him to please not send me any more jobs in his area as it was too far too drive when i was not getting paid regularly.. Then i had two weeks of major truck issues ( which i called immediately and notified him, he said no worries just finish what was in my queue when i could ) well i called, texted or emailed daily, finally advised i was buying a new truck and that i would finish the jobs as soon as i could.. He got very upset with me and said one needed to be done today, my truck ( had a u joint go, then i had ball joint, then water electrical system issue.. Majopr, then fuel pump and then water pump all within a few days well within 2 weeks.. The truck has over 230,000 miles on it been well maintained ( my boy friend is an ase certified mechanic)
so, i tell him, no can do.. I cant get there.. ( i had started the job, then it stormed and i wasnt able to finish- needed to be mowed and trimmed- had done the intial secure, padlock hasp, wint, etc.. But it started storming and had standing water before the mow and hedge trim could take place, i uploaded all the pictures.. And told him, look i cant finish, i told you the day of that i couldnt get back the next day plus it rained for 4 days straight.. He runs 3 or 4 other crews in that town, i was just suppossed to be doing some work he got behind on.. So i said look, get one of the crews to do it, just pay me for my actual locks, antifreeze and hard ware and pay them for the whole job to make it more lucrative for them to go do that little quicky.. Well i assumed it was resolved didnt hear back.. Then i get a call a week later freaking out that it wasnt done..
By this time i have bought the new truck, a new mower.. But i am flat broke and tell him until i get paid from you, i can not and will not drive the 100 miles to do to the job.. I upheld my end of the deal you didnt uphold yours..

So we have issues with one other job.. For whatever reason we had trouble with the pictures uploading.. I sent 1000 pictutes via drop box, he couldnt get them mind you he originally had my send them that way.. And then put me on ppw.. So anyway, it jsut sucks.. He says he isnt going to pay me for that job. Mind you i was there two days in a row doing all kinds of work.. And it was nasty the roof had fallen in in one room, someone had been murdered in another.. It was just not a great thing.. I had actually called him multiple times since the work order had call and they kept approving work so i kepot doing

long and short he never paid me, he said he did, then when i said no you didnt i get that there was a problem with the payment going through and he would pay me when the money was back in his account.. I have tried to contact him via phone, text and email.. He will not respond. The very last email i sent advised him that if i did not receive payment within 72 hours that i would go to the bbb, send a breach of contract /ethics violation to the licensing board, as well as sue him in small claims court.. This is a man that i couldn't find anything negative about online, had all of his licenses, has been in business, has two businesses in his name and i tried to do due diligence before going to work for him. He is out of baton rouge. Anyway, is there anything else that i can do? I had worked for a different preservation company out of baton rouge and was treated with the utmost fairness and respect, the original one gave me training, help, he still is what i would consider my mentor ( paul sacco) but the one i went to work after ( property pros services/s. Hebert) not so fair.. Granted i did not finish a job.. But that was after i had not been paid in 9 weeks, after i had told him i did not want any more jobs in br but he continued to give them to me and after i told him that there was no way i could finish the job..

The only other thing that i can do is to send a certified letter, return receipt requested to both addresses that i have for him...

Not sure what to do exactly

and while i like the regional i am working for, i am terrified to try to pick up more work from either a contractor or one of the other regionals in the area ( surety keeps calling, then you have taylor and sons and some company out of nj.. )

i am not knew to running my own business. I have trained horses and taught lessons for over 20 years.. So i get it.. I know all about taking money out for taxes, for your equipment, wear and tear, etc..

I was a medic but i wanted to be at home more.. For my child, so i liked the thought of adding on and i have made good money and decent money.. And then the no money issue.. There are some great local guys like my original /mentor paul s.. But then there are the ones that do things like property pros servicing llc /s hebert that make me grumble and try to figure out how to recoup..

I always told him i did not want to go to baton rouge to work but if he got in a bind that i would be a team player and help him out. So i did.. But he screwed me in return

nicole
stephen hebert, let me guess?
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