Regarding the Major Mistake, B.M. needs to track that guy down and serve him a subpoena. Take him to court. People have tried to rip me off several times for tons less than that. I told them all if they don’t finish the job, pay their bill, or do it correctly, I will take them to court. Each time I wasn’t being overly picky or unreasonable. In each instance, the other party knew I was right. I was patient with all of them. I am sure those people have ripped other people off successfully before. I even emailed / called the customer service and manager several times in one case. Anyway, they all called my bluff. They all got sued. I won each time. I am not a lawyer. I am a retired LEO. Being an LEO has nothing to do with it. Don’t take this laying down. Post this! Tell the dude to get mad. Go to the court house in the venue where this occurred. Fill out a few forms, after asking for some assistance in where to start. Don’t hire an attorney; you already have enough money problems. Get this documented and on paper. If the contractor has no money, let him prove it. If the contractor has no money, that’s his problem; he can still work, right? Is he working and making money elsewhere? After finding him, go check out if he has a new 4×4 in the driveway and other high dollar assets. This is just to get a snap shot of the contractors’ reality. Put a lien on his assets via the same court system. Nobody is going to fix this except you.
Taking the next step. Many states have funds for homeowners where contractors have ripped people off. The contractor either didn’t do something by code, took the money and ran, or other. Often times the state will do their investigation and help you out financially. You can survive this and come out looking pretty good if you try. Don’t go straight to the state for a hand out. I suggest doing both at the same time. Find this contractor. Identify if he has changed his business name say four or five times after claiming bankruptcy only to rip the next guy off and change his business name yet again. His business name is most likely in a county or city database. His real name is in there somewhere. Find out how many business names he’s operated under for say the last ten years. Most of this that I’m suggesting can be done in one day. After doing the above, you will have more information to work with. I would then find the local law enforcement authority in the area. Go to see a detective face to face. Tell him your situation. He’ll ask you what you want from him. Ask him if there is anything LE can advise that might help you out. Like what? Were there any LE contacts with this guy say in the last 24 months? Anything the detective can share that would be helpful will be appreciated. Follow your gut and get busy. If you had the backbone to buy a property in a rural area and take on the challenge of being “more” off grid, you have what it takes to see this through and come out pretty good considering. Good luck. – Pete