No invoice, no contract, but work was done

This is a discussion on No invoice, no contract, but work was done within the Debt Collection forum, part of the BANKRUPTCY & DEBT COLLECTIONS category; Do I need to file in small claims or get an attorney or what? We had some electrical work done ...

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Old Dec 30th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default No invoice, no contract, but work was done

Do I need to file in small claims or get an attorney or what?

We had some electrical work done on our house that we thought was imperative to address (but we scheduled the work for the next day, it was not after hours or overtime) and we asked about getting a permit but were told by the licensed electrician that a permit was not necessary.

Before we paid, we went to City Hall ourselves and found out a permit IS required and they suggested the contractor doing the work be the person to pull it, otherwise, all the responsibility rests with the owner to do the work...yeah, if we knew how to do the work, we wouldn't have to hire a contractor.

We told the (licensed) contractor that a permit is required and also requested an Invoice for the work done by his crew. We wrote a check anyway for the work. After he refused AGAIN to get a permit (continued to say he didn't need one) AND did not give us an invoice, we stopped payment on his check. This was three business days after we initially gave him the check. We were lucky he had not cashed it. We found out from a second opinion that some of the work done was illegal and incorrect too. We took pictures, made a list, and emailed everything to the original electrician and asked him to fix it. He is refusing. He is turning us over to "collections."

We had no signed contract, but truly, we do acknowledge that owe the money and will pay him ONCE THE PERMIT is pulled AND the work is done correctly. I have no problem paying him, but I will NOT pay him for illegal things!

I have given the electrician TWO different opportunities to correct the situation. He refuses and says everything is legal and up to code. I think if we pay him, we'll never see him again and be forced to take him to small claims court to recoup our money, and really, all things considered, it might be better if he took US to court instead. I've turned him in to the Calif Contractors Licensing Board, along with all my email contacts, a list of things that need to be corrected and photographic documentation.

He showed up at our house and pounded on the door, yelled at my husband, and made threats. I don't want him on the property and I certainly, in light of his behavior, don't trust him to fix the work.

Can he turn us over to Collections if he doesn't have any signed contract by us, if he has NO paperwork whatsoever signed by us, and if he has no Invoice?

Do I need at attorney or what? I'm pretty sure the CA Contractors Licensing Board has a department for arbitration or something in cases like this, but that's likely to take a while. Also, I'm sure the Licensing Board will have a problem with an electrician refusing to get a permit.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Dec 30th, 2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: No invoice, no contract, but work was done

By the way, my FICO score is 820, so you know I don't ignore my bills! THIS situation, however, necessitates my getting some knowledge about my rights. Again, I fully intend to pay the bill--but the work needs to be done legally and I need an Invoice.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2011, 04:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: No invoice, no contract, but work was done

So, alllll these people here and no one can give me any input?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: No invoice, no contract, but work was done

Yes he can turn the bill over to collections. If he does this you will be contacted by the collection agency. Collection agencies are required by federal law to inform you that 1) they are a debt collector, 2) it is an attempt to collect on a debt, and 3) that you have a certain amount of time to dispute the charges. If you contact the collection agency and dispute the debt, the debt collector will have to get evidence of the debt from the original holder. Absent a contract or any other evidence of the debt the collection agency should stop collection action with no negative affect on your credit. Further, if you have emails that evidence a bona fide dispute as to the debt, the collection action should stop until the dispute is resolved. An attorney specializing in debtor's rights should be able to assist you further without charging too much money.

Best of Luck
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 02:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: No invoice, no contract, but work was done

Thank you so much, LawCastle!! I appreciate your posting a response for me!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: No invoice, no contract, but work was done

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawcastle View Post
Yes he can turn the bill over to collections. If he does this you will be contacted by the collection agency. Collection agencies are required by federal law to inform you that 1) they are a debt collector, 2) it is an attempt to collect on a debt, and 3) that you have a certain amount of time to dispute the charges. If you contact the collection agency and dispute the debt, the debt collector will have to get evidence of the debt from the original holder. Absent a contract or any other evidence of the debt the collection agency should stop collection action with no negative affect on your credit. Further, if you have emails that evidence a bona fide dispute as to the debt, the collection action should stop until the dispute is resolved. An attorney specializing in debtor's rights should be able to assist you further without charging too much money.

Best of Luck
How is he going to turn the bill over to collections with no proof whatsoever that a bill is owed? What proof is he going to sell the collection agency so they are legally authorized to attempt to collect?

He'll likely take you to small claims court instead of selling out to a collection agency if he truly believes you owe him money.
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