Sunday, February 15, 2009

A new roof for my son

You may remember that Hurricane Ike blew through Columbus in September. It took a large part of my son's roof. He had purchased the home from us in July, and although we had a local bank (Arlington Bank), a lawyer, a title company, and assurances from our home owner's insurance company that everything was taken care of with the bank, when he went to make a claim, he had no home owner's insurance--it was still in our name. Needless to say, we were outraged, but the bank eventually settled by giving him enough cash to get it repaired, but not replaced. And he found a new bank (he had been banking there since he was a child) and a new insurance company. Columbus and central Ohio had 60 mph winds last Thursday, and the repaired part of his roof held, but the rest of it went. He called today to say the new insurance company will replace his roof. Although I won't hold my breath. Remember, the government has sent him a letter demanding fifty cents of unpaid back taxes. If you can't find Daschle or Geithner, go after that guy in Columbus who fixes cars for a living.

He told me a funny story today. Someone called his repair shop to report that the battery had died on his remote key control and he couldn't get in his car. "Have you tried the key?" my son asked. It's funnier when he tells it.


Anonymous said...

While I am the world's worst lawyer, and I don't practice in Ohio, if you have written assurances that all was well with the insurance the bank, and the lawyer, and they all need to get together to make you whole.

If they don't engage a good lawyer and sue them. Or at least have the good lawyer send them a letter telling them you will. If Ohio is anything like the other states I know suing your insurance company and winning more than they offered if they offered to settle wins you costs and fees as well automatically.

It might be more of a pain in the neck, but if the difference is more than a few thousand that is what I would do.

You could also tell the lawyer you plan on filing a malpractice claim and complaint with the Bar (or whatever the regulatory agency is in Ohio) if he told you it was OK. Heck if you don't want to do that ask for your money back because he was useless.

Joubert said...

Norma, I find this all a bit shocking. The problem is getting a lawyer to sue costs but somehow it just doesn't seem right.

Norma said...

To hire a lawyer to recover the costs of a damaged roof when real estate is your primary business, might make some sense, but not when you are a blue collar worker who has spent his last penny on closing costs. We actually had a similar problem 7 years ago, and when we learned that the method was to sue everyone who even came close to the roof, including some friends and neighbors, and we could still lose, we backed off.

All the "experts" who participated in the closing were pointing the finger at someone else. It's not legal to loan money on a house that is not insured, and a policy owned by us on a house we no longer owned also wasn't valid (they had never refunded us the balance of the policy either). That much we know. Everything else was a mess, but perhaps the second wind storm will fix it. Lawyers can only help those who can afford to hire them and who can afford to lose the case.

Galliena Gornet said...

After one problem, another one set in. Talk about irony. I guess you could say that this was one of your son's toughest challenges in his life. Before you hire a lawyer, it would be a good idea to do some research about them. It'll help you choose one, if you've finally made your decision.