They can take you to Court, but probably will have a tough time being successful, unless they have already provided services and have not been paid.
Anyone can file a Warrant in Debt or Complaint to request a money judgment. The question is really whether they will actually be granted a judgment by the Court. If you paid for the inspection, you did not sign any documents, made no requests for additional services, and they have not provided services other than the inspection, you are probably safe. If they do request a judgment by making a Court filing, you still need to respond. Your failure to contest their claim, once filed with a Court, could lead to a judgment by default.
I agree with the attorney above you do need to answer any complaint. You can probably send the company a letter demanding that they stop collection attempts. There are letter available at www.onlinevalegalforms.com. under legal services-> loans and collections. This service will ask you to fill in a questionnaire, an attorney will review your complaint and draft your letter for you, and then you can download it and mail it. Since the amount he is trying to collect is less than calling his lawyer it will probably resolve your problem. If it doesn’t feel free to call me and we can discuss possible remedies available to you.
There is a legal concept that you need to be aware of which may open you to liability known as Quatum Meruit. It basically says the law will imposes an obligation against a party, who request the services of another, to pay reasonable compensation for the services performed.
Quatum Meruit also known as quasi contract or unjust enrichment bars a party from benefitting from the labor of another without compensation. The courts will infer that a contract existed between the parties and reasonably compensate the injured party for services provided.
I need to know more about the engagement in order to determine if liability exists. For instance were you aware of a fee for the estimate? Does this company advertise "free estimates"? Did you respond to an ad for a "free estimate"? Did the technician inform you of any possible charges before he came out? etc.
Good Luck and if you need further information, feel free to contact me.
Sam Mansoor, Attorney
Mansoor Law Firm, PLLC
116R Edwards Ferry Rd NE
Leesburg, VA 20176
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If they began providing services and you let them you do it, a court may find that you agreed to it. You do not need to sign a document to have a contract. You just need to agree. I would suggest, as others have recommended, sending a complaint letter to the company. If nothing happens, send another one to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for help.
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Mitchell P. Goldstein
Richmond, VA 23230