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Cathleen M Curl

Cathleen Curl’s Answers

401 total


  • How do I deal with a General Contractor who we paid upfront payment who got hit with an IRS collection notice?

    We engaged a general contractor (GC) for a major house remodeling project. The contract asked for 10% upfront payment as "mobilization" and we paid it. Things were humming along fine (we were doing the architecture/design with the GC's architect...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    I agree that you need to consult with an experienced construction attorney about this. I also agree that it would be a good idea to have that attorney talk to the IRS representative whose name is on the letter you received about the status. Oftentimes an appearance by you at a hearing is not necessary, and sometimes the debtor has already worked out a settlement with the IRS that doesn't need your involvement. Further investigation is necessary.

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  • I hired a contractor to work on my house. Unfortunately, his work was not satisfactory. I don't think he can do the job right.

    He promised to fix whatever problem there was. He said this would be covered by his warranty so he will not charge me extra. However, I have lost confidence in him. His company is licensed and he has a contractor's bond which is required for all c...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    The license bond surety most likely will not pay for this unless the contractor has abandoned your project, which he hasn't done here. You need to give the contractor the opportunity to correct his work. If the repairs are still not done properly or to code, then you may be able to justifiably terminate the contractor. This can be tricky though. I advise you to consult with an experienced construction attorney before proceeding further.

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  • Does a home owner still have to pay contractor when job is near complete and home owner claims to have fired him?

    I worked for a contractor hourly under the table. He says the home owner is not paying him and claiming they fired him for not completing the job and/or other reasons, (it was 90% complete). The contractor is suing for the remaining balance, ($2,7...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    You should immediately file a claim with the Dept. of Labor Wage Enforcement Division. They will help you get your money from the contractor. You do Not need to say that it was "under the table". It was an oral employment contract. It's the general contractor's responsibility to obtain workers compensation insurance for his employees not yours.

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  • Is there a time limit for payment of settlement ?

    Neighbor hired contractor for some tree work and contractor damaged my property in process of work. Contractor insurance agent offered settlement, I signed release, but still awaiting payment over 30 days now? Was told check was cut two weeks a...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    It often takes 2-4 weeks to receive a check from an insurance company, depending on where the check is coming from. I would call the insurance rep and find out when to expect it and then keep calling if it doesn't. Come by then. The neighbor's own claim should not slow yours down.

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  • Can a homeowner remove items from a signed contract for items that have not been completed?

    My client signed a remodel contract and 2 change orders. She is now saying she want to remove items that haven't been done to compensate for additional costs such as all the paint. Can she remove those items? Also, how much more can I charge fo...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    The homeowner cannot remove items from the contract without being liable to pay you your lost profit on those items she is removing. You wouldn't be charging for the labor and material you won't be doing, just the profit. Most owners don't know or understand this. You could decide to waive this or negotiate a lesser amount but you are not required to.

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  • What are my options for recourse on a roof installed incorrectly over 10 years ago?

    We have a concrete tile roof that has suffered extensive wind damage since it was installed in 2004. The first course of tiles extend farther past the edge of the roof than recommended in the installation instructions, and the contractor did n...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    If the job was completed more than 10 years ago you most likely have no rights any more against the contractor. A possible exception might be if the new roof was art of a bigger remodel which passed final inspection by the Building Dep in the last 10 years. However, if there was a 50 year guarantee on the tile itself, you should immediately notify the tile manufacturer of the problem and ask them to fix it. If they agree the fault was in the tile and not the installation, they will replace the tile but you'll have to pay to have it installed. Some general contractors will agree to help you even after the 10 year statute has run so it never hurts to ask.

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  • Can a company come after me to cover a check bounced by a landscaper that I hired?

    I hired a landscaper and paid him to lay cement. The job was done and I paid him by certified (bank) check, but his personal/business check to the cement company bounced and now the cement company is threatening to put a lein on my house if I don'...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Spirtos that you might be liable to the supplier if the supplier sent you a timely preliminary notice by certified mail. If they failed to send you a timely preliminary notice, then they can't come after you for the money the landscaper owes. You can file a complaint against the landscaper with the Contractors State License Board, and against his $12,500 license bond, as well as filing in Small Claims Court or Superior Court against the landscaper to get reimbursed for this money.

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  • Are there any attorney dealing with construction willing to take a case on with contingency?

    We hired a contractor to replace our old roof and add solar panels. Upon completion it was discovered that the contractor did not follow manufacture installation specifications and the roof looked wrong. The manufacture technical rep. eventually...

    Cathleen’s Answer

    Sorry but I don't know of any attorney who would take this kind of case on a contingency. I agree that you should check with your local bar association. Best of luck.

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  • If someone files a lien on a house they worked on because they did not get paid. And the people did not pay the lien.

    10 years later is there any thing you can do about it? Can you enforce the lien by making them sell it?

    Cathleen’s Answer

    This is the same question that was posted before. No, it's too late to do anything about a lien that's 10 years old. You must perfect your lien by filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien within 90 days of the recording date of the lien. Otherwise, it's too late.

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  • If someone files a lien on a house they worked on because they did not get paid. And the people did not pay the lien.

    10 years later is there any thing you can do about it? Can you enforce the lien by making them sell it?

    Cathleen’s Answer

    This is the same question that was posted before. No, you can't enforce a lien that's 10 years old. You must perfect your lien by filing a lawsuit within 90 days of the recording date of the lien. Otherwise it's too late.

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