question....

lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
3,301
552
113
Mid, South, USA
Around Christmas last year I dropped a car off at a "friend's" place to have the exterior refinished (paint/body). Paid him for the majority of it when I dropped it off. I've had him do work in the past and it was fine, a little time consuming, but been fine--and communication was good. It is now close to Thanksgiving 2021, and he has provided zero communication. 4 months since drop off went by and I asked for an update. Ain't got to it yet. Another month or two, same deal, ain't got to it yet. The same today. So I'm out a bunch of money, my car's sitting for coming up on 11 months, and not much has been done to it. I'm pretty upset. This evening I found out that another guy dropped his off right after I dropped mine off, paid him (full), an his ain't nowhere close either.

So over the spring/summer/fall I've been facebook tracking him. He's been out racing, buying parts, fixing stuff, etc. Playing, if you will. All the while, my stuff is sitting there.

I am pretty sure that money I paid him is gone.

I need it done, and done right. Or I need to go get it and pay someone else to do it. But I can't do that because I already paid him part of it.

The other guy whose stuff is also there, he contacted me and said if his stuff ain't done by x date, he's going over there to get it and it won't be pretty. I don't know this guy very well but what I do know of him, he's probably right. It won't be. He don't just say stuff like that and not do anything...

What do I do?
 

Bmyers

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Grand L3560 with LA805 loader, EA 55" Wicked Grapple, SBX72 BB, LP 1272 mower
May 27, 2019
1,550
1,115
113
Southern Illinois
You can file a compliant with your look DA/State Attorney office and they may go after him especially if they have multiple complaints.

In addition, you can file with the BBB and have them put pressure on him.

Finally, as pointed out, depending on the amount of money involved you can sue. The amount will determine if you can do it yourself in small claims court or if you will need to higher an attorney. The problem with attorney is the fees can get high quickly and you may win, but end up with little to nothing if the amount the individual owes you isn't that large. Understand, $1,000 is large to me, but in legal terms figure it will be at $5,000 in cost. In most cases, unless it is a large sum of money, the only people that win in a lawsuit is the lawyers.
 

torch

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Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
1,833
247
63
Muskoka, Ont.
Go before the other guy. Before the money is gone.
 

B2710

Member

Equipment
LX3310, L45, RTV1100
Dec 13, 2011
38
24
8
SE Tennessee
In you best non-threating voice, ask him to do it now as you paid several months ago with the expectation of services and the car has been there a reasonable amount of time. If he pushes back, then ask for the pre-payment back and get the car. Just don't do anything that can be used against you, like threaten him.

Then chalk it up to life experience of using "friends and family" for work or lending money. The only time I ever pre-paid the full amount of work was for a bathroom remodel. Had used my cousin a few times when he was between contract jobs, I usually paid for materials up front and labor when done, but this time I paid all of it upfront. Well, long story made short, he ripped out everything but never came back claiming he used up the budget in rip out and that his estimate for materials was too low for the job.

Yep, life experience is what you get right after you needed it.
 

NCL4701

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Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
838
754
93
Central Piedmont, NC
Good advice above. Only addition: If you have a written contract (bid, estimate, something in writing) and proof of payment (receipt, canceled check, etc.) suing for return of money due to breach of contract is an option. Not the only or best option but at least an option.

In theory a verbal contract is just as binding as a written contract. In practice, unless you have some proof beyond your word v his, getting a court to enforce a verbal contract where his testimony and yours are inconsistent is pretty unlikely.
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
2,919
690
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
BTDT, witha 'pro' shop in town. Said ,it can be a 'filler job', when you're not busy(lots of insurance jobs...)
Some work was done on it, then in december, saw it outside with 6" of snow IN it.....
2hrs later friend and I towed it home. He never asked for more money...
Cut your losses GET your vehicle PDQ before he puts a 'mechanics lien' on it. Be nice but GET IT HOME !!!!
 

orange crusher

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2680
Sep 30, 2017
263
302
63
ontario canada
After you get your car back (maybe), get your money back (not likely) I would also drop a dime on the IRS Fraud line as he is, (most likely) running a cash business.
Won't help your cause much, but will give you some satisfaction (legally) that they will turn the screws up on him.
 
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PaulR

Active member

Equipment
BX 23S -- 63.7 hours seat time so far
Aug 3, 2020
377
246
43
Hadley, MA
Small business, if you want to call it that, can be real tough. As you say the guy was out playing and spending, so you know time/money is not a problem for him.
Devils advocate though: How much have you talked to this guy? Have you strongly and clearly relayed your concerns that you WANT the car back asap? Maybe he was under the impression that you didn't care when the job got done?
or, probably most likely, the guy could care less and went off the deep-end......just throwing things out there. :geek:
 

D2Cat

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L305DT, B7100HST, TG1860, TG1860D, L4240
Mar 27, 2014
10,072
1,151
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40 miles south of Kansas City
Don't do anything until AFTER the other disgusted guy works him over! He be more inclined to not have you sic the first guy back over there to solve your problem with him!! I'd even offer a "tip" of a $100 or so just to make sure he does a convincing job of whatever he is going to do.

I'd ask the first guy what he'd want to help solve your problem. The body shop guy won't want two helping of the same medicine, would he?
 

Poohbear

Active member

Equipment
L3301 HST, LA525, LP shredder, BB1566 box blade, QH10, Worksaver pallet fork
Jul 6, 2018
337
50
28
Gilmer,Tx,United States
Just go get your car & chalk it up to a bad choice in friends.
As to the other guy, he might find that dude is as tough or tougher than he is.
 

DustyRusty

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23S
Nov 8, 2015
1,039
411
83
North East
Your first loss is your least expensive loss. Go get your car, and first stop at the local police department, and tell them what is going on. Ask them if they would send an officer over there while you retrieve your car. The biggest problem might be that he will not be willing to give you the car and say that you owe money on it. Then you will need an attorney to send him a registered letter demanding the vehicle. The last thing that you want to happen is for him to accuse you of wrongdoing. Even if you have to pay the officer to do the job in his free time, it will be worth the cost. If he should make any accusations against you, it can cost you thousands in legal fees.
I had a similar problem with getting my backhoe back after a friend blew up the engine, and took it to a shop to have them install a used engine in the machine. When I went to the shop to retrieve the tractor, the owner told me that he sold it because the other fellow didn't pay for the work. I went to the local police department, and they went to the shop to find out where the tractor was. Turned out that it was in my town, in the adjoining state. I tracked the tractor down to a farm and spoke to the owner of the farm who purchased the tractor. The state police were there also and told him that he was in possession of the stolen property and that he was under orders not to move or dispose of the tractor. He disregarded that order, and put the tractor on his trailer and brought it back to the shop that had sold it to him, and got his money back. Now that it was back at that shop, the shop owner wouldn't release the tractor to me and demanded the full value of the tractor. Got an attorney that summoned him into court, and the judge tore the guy a new asshole! In the end, I paid the attorney and had to pay a "reasonable" amount for the replacement engine and installation. When I had the tractor picked up, he had sabotaged the engine with water in the oil and drained all the antifreeze out of it. It was wintertime, and I was lucky that I was able to catch that before any damage occurred. He also cut the kingpin on the steering, and the wheel snapped off when the tractor was being delivered to my driveway. I was going to go after him for the sabotage but he must have gotten someone else pissed off also, because less than a month later, the building burned to the ground. Not long after that, he died, and my friend that blew up the engine never gave me a dime. Needless to say, I never talked to him again!
 

ctfjr

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3800HST
Dec 7, 2009
714
699
93
central ct
fwiw keep your goal in sight. You want your car and $$$ back. He is (or was) a friend. Go over to see him as a friend. Empathize with what must have been a very busy time for him and explain you just need to get the car finished and back to you.
If he doesn't think he can get it done right away just tell him you have someone who can do it now. Getting the car out would be my 1st priority. If he can't refund the $$$ to you right away Small Claims Court is an easy route. Just remember you can't get blood out of a stone. I have several 'won' small claims cases that I never could collect on.
 

jyoutz

Active member

Equipment
MX6000 HST open station. JD4100 for sale
Jan 14, 2019
217
85
28
Edgewood, New Mexico
Around Christmas last year I dropped a car off at a "friend's" place to have the exterior refinished (paint/body). Paid him for the majority of it when I dropped it off. I've had him do work in the past and it was fine, a little time consuming, but been fine--and communication was good. It is now close to Thanksgiving 2021, and he has provided zero communication. 4 months since drop off went by and I asked for an update. Ain't got to it yet. Another month or two, same deal, ain't got to it yet. The same today. So I'm out a bunch of money, my car's sitting for coming up on 11 months, and not much has been done to it. I'm pretty upset. This evening I found out that another guy dropped his off right after I dropped mine off, paid him (full), an his ain't nowhere close either.

So over the spring/summer/fall I've been facebook tracking him. He's been out racing, buying parts, fixing stuff, etc. Playing, if you will. All the while, my stuff is sitting there.

I am pretty sure that money I paid him is gone.

I need it done, and done right. Or I need to go get it and pay someone else to do it. But I can't do that because I already paid him part of it.

The other guy whose stuff is also there, he contacted me and said if his stuff ain't done by x date, he's going over there to get it and it won't be pretty. I don't know this guy very well but what I do know of him, he's probably right. It won't be. He don't just say stuff like that and not do anything...

What do I do?
You may be able to file a complaint with the state registrar of contractors and get a refund from his business bond.
 

bearbait

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3560, 64" snowblower, 72" back blade
Dec 9, 2011
3,619
335
83
Cape Breton Canada
If you happen to know 2 or 3 women that are going through menopause serve them up a couple glasses of wine then take them over and drop them off, shouldn't take long. I know it's not funny and sorry, I couldn't help myself. As others have said you may be better off just picking up your car and then deal with trying to recoup some of your money. Either way good luck, I hope it all works out for ya.
 

mikester

Well-known member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,232
356
83
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
Break his legs. Go old school. Of his hands. Since that’s what he uses to work on stuff
I recently saw a news blurb on a guy in a similar situation. Took his classic car to a "specialist" to get repainted. After a year+ of delays he got a court order and the sheriff to give him access to the guy's shop to recover his car. All they found was a shell of a car because the guy was scamming clients and parting out their classic vehicles on fleabay.
 

orange crusher

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2680
Sep 30, 2017
263
302
63
ontario canada
Years ago when I lived in Jersey, situations like this could be handled for a few hundred dollar "retainer". For $500. a couple of "GUMBA'S" would pay him a visit and demonstrate the "curbing" trade to him. Curbing is the art of placing his face on a curb and delivering a kick to the back of the head. Capish ?????