Thursday, October 09, 2008

What do you do when...

Remember when I posted this picture? It was back in February, when life was crazy with pre-sale renovations on our old house.

We got over that insanity, only to jump into it once more here.

Things seemed to finally be getting back to normal around here until we received a letter the other day. It stated that the folks who replaced the carpet (above) almost 8 months ago had never been paid by our contractor.

Yes, a certified letter from an attorney, naming the contractor, but also naming us and the new owners of our old house, as liable for $287.50.

Two hundred eighty-seven dollars and fifty cents that we ALREADY PAID.

Seven months ago.

We called the contractor. Of course, no answer. We called our attorney, and basically he said just to pay it. By the time you pay legal fees proving you've already paid it and that you are not liable for the bill, you end up paying more than the bill was to begin with.

And while you're going through all that, they can put a lien on your NEW house. ARGGH!!!

They have you where they want you.

So today I drug my feet to the bank and had a cashier's check made out to the flooring company.

I am SO bumming.

I'm bumming because we really liked our contractor. He did a good job. He was in our home with his crews for a month, and you begin to think you know a person. He has a wife and a little girl Ruthie's-4 age.

It's not the amount. I am thankful we have it to pay, although I'd much rather be using it for something else. Shrubs Food, for one thing.

Mostly I'm bumming at the unfairness of it all. I am paying for carpet I've already paid for, in a house I don't even live in anymore!! And is the next subcontractor going to come and do the same thing?

I guess that's why the verse Neal-13 wrote on the carpet seven months ago takes on extra meaning. I like the "real" version, but in light of the circumstances, I made my own translation:
The carpet fades,
and the contractors fall into bankruptcy,
But the Word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:8, Raising Five Version
I need to work on giving my frustration over to a God who sees all and knows all, and will someday judge all things. Meanwhile, I guess I'll put a stamp on the envelope to the attorney's office.


Julie said...

It drives me crazy when companies don't keep correct records!

What a shame that you and your family had to deal with this!

Annie said...

Oh what a pain!! I'm trying to think of a thankful spin on it...but it is tough!!

Just sorry that you have to pay twice for carpet.

Emily said...

Oh, Katherine, bummer! I'm sorry, I totally can imagine your frustration/hurt.

Maybe I'm being naieve... but is there any chance it's an honest mistake? Like the guy just forgot to write in the account or something? Or is it pretty clear it's over and done?

Way to choose a good attitude. You're awesome!!

ps- I finished two tests this week and I am excited to now have time to send you an email!! Hopefully this weekend- I can't wait to catch up with you.

Mo said...

Oh my goodness, I would be furious. I hate when things like that happen and just leave you with your hands tied. I recently switched phone companies and ended up having to pay a huge cancellation fee for breaking a 2 year contract. I had been with the carrier for 6 years, and have no idea when or why they renewed my contract. It was so frustrating though, and in the end I just had to pay it. ERG!

So sorry for your frustration, I would definitely be bummed too.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Emily, I doubt it. This was a final notice before they sue, so they have already tried to collect, but the contractor either won't or (most likely) can't pay.

It's truly amazing that someone else can take your money, but YOUR credit is still at risk. I don't get it.

But it is what it is, so we will pay...thanking God all the way to the bank that it wasn't the paint contractor, who did $5,000 worth of work! =)

mholgate said...

Katherine, I'm sorry for your loss. We've had to deal with shady contractors before when we owned our business in the past. That's not fun.

As I was reading your post though, I was reminded of something. Aren't you glad that we will NEVER, NEVER, be asked to repay the debt that Christ paid for us on the cross? We have an invoice signed in blood from the Great Carpenter that says "Paid in Full." Now that's something to be eternally thankful for!

In His Grace,