So upset I'm crying...

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So upset I'm crying...

Postby karenb » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:21 pm

Hi All,

Please forgive me for venting... I know there is nothing anybody can do, but I feel so upset I'm ready to cry...

As you may or may not know, I moved to southern NM 4 years & 1 month ago to care for my ailing parents; 2 months after moving here, I was dx'd with SM, and things went downhill from there.

Anyway... The house I purchased needed a fairly basic roof repair, which I contracted to have done two years ago. The contractor made a proposal, which he claimed included fully coating the roof to reduce heat absorption & seal all leaks/cracks. I accepted the proposal with the understanding that he would perform the work proposed, had the needed licenses, and would obtain any needed permits.

My roof started falling in last summer, after the 5th leak I reported to him under the waranty. This was the 3rd leak in exactly the same place - I had reported a leak in the same place 3 weeks earlier, which he claimed to have fixed. The cave-in dumped piles of plaster right on my wheelchair and triggered ongoing carbon monoxide leaks in the garage, which shut down both my hot water and my furnace.

In deposition, the contractor made it clear that he had sized me up - I was in a wheelchair and forbidden to climb ladders - and decided that he could do whatever he wanted. He went so far as to admit under oath that he had knowingly lied to me and committed fraud.

My only remedy under state law was to request a "refund". I did so, at which point my attorney was informed that my contractor had filed for bankruptcy (6 months before the cave-in) and had included this as a "bankruptcy dischargeable debt" during the last week before the bankruptcy became final. I've been tied up in bankruptcy court for the last 10 or 11 months and had to pay for a new roof & all repairs out of my own pocket.

So... today, the federal judge comes back and issues a written ruling saying I should have known that this man's license was for a specific type of masonry work (even though he represented himself as a general contractor), and that I must have lied under oath.

I got all this info today in an email message and a voice-mail. I was completely blindsided by this, and it would appear that my only remedy under state law is to "suck it up" and accept that fraud was intentionally committed against me because I was in a wheelchair!

I wish I had some advice for folks, but I have nothing except something that is very uncharacteristic for me, especially given the way I was raised - don't trust anyone!

Thank you for reading my vent... It makes me feel a little better to know that maybe somebody can understand the impotent rage I've been feeling all day.

Karen
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby *Hope* » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:46 pm

I'm sorry, Karen. That's just awful and we all know you didn't need another kick right now. :(

Hang in there.
CM1
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby lostsoul72 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:38 pm

I'm dancing that dance with you, Karen......two steps forward, three steps back. I've cried those same tears, saying "When will it stop?". We endure SO much and I believe we are stronger than we will ever know. We get knocked down, then get back up. I know words don't make any of it go away but I am sorry that you've had to go through any of it! Vent anytime....

"Gentle hugs"
~Erin~
Multiple Herniated Discs, DDD, SM-2mm wide from T4-T10, Hypothyroidism, Celiac Disease, Anemia

"[i]Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them[/i]..."
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby lady 59 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:27 pm

Karen I'm so sorry I wish there was something I could do or say to help. I can't believe a judge could come back and say something like that, whatever happened to our society I wish I knew.
Here's a (((hug)) for you,
Mary
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby karenb » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:18 pm

Mary, Erin, and everyone else who responded privately,

I appreciate your support more than you can know.

The way it was explained today, once this guy filed for federal bankruptcy, his word became law. Even though we had two different people with sworn statements to the contrary, he told the judge that he had informed me he had no license. Since he is bankrupt, his word is law under federal bankruptcy "protection". We're exploring final avenues, and will make sure his license is revoked by the state and will make sure that the local building inspector (who has known him for over 30 years) knows what kind of games he's playing...

Thank you again. God's blessings, and best wishes for a restful, pain-free evening.

Karen
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby June » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:28 pm

Karen - I have just read about your infuriating situation, and I have to say that it is absolutely unbelievable what some people will do. He doesn't deserve to live in civilized society--or sadly, maybe this is what passes for it these days. When I see something like this happen, my first response is to hope that the perpetrator will someday find him/herself on the receiving end of such behavior. Can't help it--revenge is sweet. I am so sorry you are having to endure such unfair treatment.

My second thought is for the judge. We in Colorado vote on judges--does NM do that? If so, you might see what you can do about getting rid of that judge so he doesn't continue to inflict this kind of treatment on others. Or there may be a way to make a formal complaint against him, or some such. There will always be crooked contractors, but we should be able to reasonably expect justice from our courts. There quite likely is a long line of people just like you who have gotten a raw deal from that judge--tapping into it might be very interesting.

I'd tell a joke or two if I could remember any--just to cheer you up--but I always forget a critical part, so I won't try. Anyway, I hope you are feeling better and that the jerk of a contractor is feeling really BAD!!!

Cheers!

June
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby karenb » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:20 am

June,

Thank you so much for the note! Unfortunately, this fellow is a Federal Bankruptcy judge. It appears that Bankruptcy operates almost like a get-out-of-jail-free card for incompetent of unscrupulous business people. In this case, I've had my house torn apart in various stages of repair for a full year, I've had carbon monoxide leaks due to the ceiling collapsing, and have had to deal with major structural repairs - and he walks away! (FYI, in the past year, between this clown and all the repairs, I've spent about a half-year's income... which I'll never see again...)

Karen

P.S. For any of you who been forced to file for bankruptcy, I apologize. I know there are a lot of good Federal judges on the bench, and a lot of circumstances beyond people's control. Unfortunately, this guy's situation was self-inflicted...
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby powerlineman » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:13 pm

This is generally the case these days with crooks or just flat out lazy people. A lazy woman that refuses to work or believe in birth control is worth more than me (no shot at women, just an example).

As in your case the crook gets off basically with no punishment and you pay the price. He doesn't care and the judges just help the crooks with their decisions to go dirty. You should at this point just write a letter to tell the judge how you feel about him calling you a liar and how your life is going to suffer because the laws they uphold and helped set up protect him and not you. At this point what do you have to lose with it?

And they wonder why there is so much crime in America?
SM only (C2-T1, T10-T12)-Cervical Post Operative Radiculopathy-Degenerative Disc Disease-Anxiety-Depression-Chronic Fatigue-Osteoarthritis-Bulging Discs (T5-T7)-Sarcoidosis-Spina Bifida
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby June » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Powerlineman,

Karen's situation is indeed infuriating, and I like your idea about writing to the judge. At least she could blow off some steam. But she is moving into the house now, and it sounds like a fabulous house for her, now that it is finally finished.

I do have a question about your statement regarding women--afraid I don't understand what you are saying about lazy women and birth control, and comparing those things to your own worth. Would you mind explaining that a bit further? I would really like to understand what you mean.

Karen, I don't mean to interrupt your messages, but this might be important.

Thanks,
June
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby karenb » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:23 pm

June & Powerlineman,

You are both wonderful people for taking time to read my post and for caring enough to respond.

A "court-ordered mediation" was held today. The outcome was the minimum I could hope for - he gave me my money back. Thankfully, I have carried legal insurance for many years, and they paid the attorney's fees (and there were a lot of them). I was still left on the hook for completely replacing my roof (translation: scraping the old roof down to the decking and starting over). I was also left on the hook for all of the interior repairs (appx 475 sq ft completely gutted and replaced) and "inconvenience" (multiple carbon monoxide leaks during the winter and loss of my hot water heater).

First out, this fellow is an insult to disabled people everywhere, and even does a disservice to "flatout lazy people". He's an alcoholic in his mid 50's and claims he's completely unable to work because of "hypertension & diabetes" - yet he is as anyone I've ever met, and even goes so far as to continue to solicit work, even at the courthouse (albeit under a different name)!!! He's now a widely known alcoholic, and his but he's not too sick to drink himself sicker. His wife came out of retirement (forfeiting her pension) to support him... I could go on for days, but am trying to refrain.

The truth: "justice" is not part of our legal system, and our laws encourage people to be lazy and prey on others. The worst thing is that people like him make the rest of us look bad, and folks like him are the reason we have to struggle so hard to gain disability - too many people have "played" the system.

Sorry if I sound bitter - I guess I still am...

Karen
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Re: So upset I'm crying...

Postby June » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:37 pm

Karen - Thanks for updating us, and I am SO glad that you got your money back--frankly very surprised. He sounds like the king of losers--sorry you got involved with him, but I can imagine that he seemed like he knew what he was doing and was very persuasive. Probably at some time in the distant past he may have known his job but has degenerated to this pitiful point. I really feel sorry for his wife--well, sort of. She should drop him like a hot potato!

I completely agree about the "justice" system, having been royally screwed by a former tenant in small claims court. And then there is our Supreme Court, which makes a mockery of justice some days. But things could be worse. I think it was Churchill who said that democracy is absolutely the worse system in the world, except for all the others.

Be well,
June
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