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2031pratt 08-04-2010 03:16 PM

Advice Requested on handy-man bill just received
 
I just received a bill from a handy-man I used 3 years ago for a fair amount of work. I was generally happy with him, except for the fact he started working on a few things I specifically told him not to do, but my wife told him to do.

This bill I just received was from some of the work he did 3 years ago, that he never sent out because he was too busy or something. I have my records filed away, but I know definitely that one of the more expensive items on the bill, he never did (he bid on it, but I had someone else do it.) I brought this to his attention, and he was like my bad, but the rest is valid. I am not sure if it is, and am not in the mood to go through 3 year old records to find out.

Because the bill is so old, do I even need to do anything about this? I have never had something like this happen to me. All I know that if I tried to bill one of my clients from 3 years ago that I hadn't remembered to bill, they would be like "pfft, yeah right. good luck with that." Granted I work in a different industry, but my initial feeling that this is bullsh*t.

What are your opinions here?

Thanks in advance.

Jim F 08-04-2010 03:21 PM

My opinion? Unless he can produce something like a contract or any other sort of agreement signed by you or your wife, he has no legal grounds. If you can remember a specific service that you never paid for then from a moral standpoint, you should pay him.

Yoyizit 08-04-2010 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2031pratt (Post 480423)
This bill I just received was from some of the work he did 3 years ago, that he never sent out because he was too busy or something.

The law will not protect someone who "sleeps on his rights" but watch out that this turkey doesn't put a lien on your house.
There may be a statute of limitations in your area for this kind of lackadaisical conduct.

eisert 08-06-2010 06:27 PM

This sounds really fishy to me. He's sending you a bill 3 years late and for services he didn't even render? I wouldn't pay it.

As for his lein rights- I'm a liscenced contractor in MN. We have to file a lein within 120 days of last goods or services provided. I can only assume it will be similar in your state.

nap 08-06-2010 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2031pratt (Post 480423)

Because the bill is so old, do I even need to do anything about this? I have never had something like this happen to me..

depends what state this is in. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. If it is beyond the SoL, he can still bill and even sue you. You would have to assert the SoL defense.

If this isn't beyond the SoL, he can still bill and sue you. He might even win. You might have a defense such as the doctrine of laches (equitable estoppel) which is what yoyizit was referring to I believe.

Proby 08-06-2010 06:57 PM

I believe in paying what you owe. I would still pay this guy, but I would make damn sure that I was paying for work that A) he did do and that B) I didn't already pay for.

chrisn 08-07-2010 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proby (Post 481620)
I believe in paying what you owe. I would still pay this guy, but I would make damn sure that I was paying for work that A) he did do and that B) I didn't already pay for.


Would you send a client a bill 3 years later and expect to get payed??:whistling2:
Not trying to stir up the pot but as an electrician,I can not imagine you would consider it .
I believe in paying what you owe but 3YEARS later?:eek::no:

Proby 08-07-2010 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 481745)
Would you send a client a bill 3 years later and expect to get payed??:whistling2:
Not trying to stir up the pot but as an electrician,I can not imagine you would consider it .

It's taken longer than that to get paid for some jobs. FYI, schools suck :mad: But this really isn't about when I would send a bill.

Quote:

I believe in paying what you owe but 3YEARS later?:eek::no:
What's the difference? If he truly owes the money he should pay it. 3 years or 30 years. The OP is not at a disadvantage, if anything he gained by keeping his money for a longer period of time.

If I owed money to a contractor and I never received the invoice, I would call that contractor a month or so later and ask about it.

WirelessG 08-07-2010 02:05 PM

I would tell him to beat it. If it took him 3 years to bill you then he needs to learn a lesson. What next? Will he suddenly discover that a bill from 4 years ago was only half as much as it should have been? How did he stumble on this issue 3 years later? No, you should tell him to pound sand. Yes, you owe someone who performs duties for you in accordance with your work agreement. But he has an obligation to bill you in a timely manner. I assume the amount on the bill is a few hundred, but what if it was a lot of money? Between now and 3 years ago you have made all sorts of financial decisions based on the notion that this handyman was paid in full. If he was due a lot of money and you hadn't budgeted for it then what? The way I see it, him not billing you timely is no different that you letting him proceed with the work and then trying to get him to accept something less than half of the full amount.

I never get paid all of the money I am owed as the Owner holds retainage, so I am held hostage on every job (I do heavy commercial and industrial work). Most Owners look for any reason to shoot down any request for an increase in contract amount.

Mr Chips 08-07-2010 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proby (Post 481752)

What's the difference? If he truly owes the money he should pay it. 3 years or 30 years. The OP is not as a disadvantage, if anything he gained by keeping his money for a longer period of time.

I'm with Proby on this on. If you recieved a service you agreed to pay for, you owe it. I do, however, feel you have up to 3 years to pay in full, given the circumstances.....

chrisn 08-08-2010 05:35 AM

If I owed money to a contractor and I never received the invoice, I would call that contractor a month or so later and ask about it.

A month or so, certainly. If said contractor sent you a bill 3 YEARS later:eek:, would'nt you question it?? :huh::huh:

Proby 08-08-2010 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 482173)
If said contractor sent you a bill 3 YEARS later:eek:, would'nt you question it?? :huh::huh:

I would question it. But I also keep good records so I would know what type of work he did and what I paid him for, or didn't pay him for.

There is a lot here that I wouldn't do, from sending an invoice 3 years later to hiring a handyman to work on my house. In the end, I still feel that if you owe money you should pay.

2031pratt 08-16-2010 02:20 PM

As I said, more than half the bill was for something I was *certain* he didn't do (it was easy to remember because I used a Handy Man company based in my neighborhood). As for the other stuff, I thought everything was squared. I have records for everything, but the idea of digging through 3 year old receipts to check doesn't thrill me. As someone guessed, minus the large item that I know wasn't valid, it amounts to around $500.

I feel that if he wants to be compensated for something he *might* not have been paid for, he should send me all the bills, and show me all the checks he has received from me, and say, this is what is missing.

As an example, a company I worked for 2 years ago went bankrupt. Even thought I billed them and the lawyers have that information, I have to send copies *again* showing what is owed since there are assets left over to distribute.

As I said, nothing remotely like this has happened to me before, so interesting to hear what people think.

Proby 08-16-2010 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2031pratt (Post 486808)
I have records for everything, but the idea of digging through 3 year old receipts to check doesn't thrill me.

So tell him that your time to research into his late request will cost him (for example) $30 and take that $30 off of the total that you pay him.

framerman 08-16-2010 02:37 PM

If he did the work, yeah, pay him. But have a little talk with him and tell him this is BS. Not a very businesslike thing to be doing. He's digging his own grave. Tell him you are considering not calling him again for anything because of this unprofessional manner.

The lien thing I wouldn't worry about at all. The law is there to protect people for the most part. If he does, file a grievance, an excessive lien...the judge is just going to laugh it off.


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