Mike Panish's office is currently receiving daily calls rom disgruntled homeowners. These calls are usually made after looking on the internet for help with a construction or alleged contractor fraud claim. Mike Panish has written many articles and stories about a variety of contractor fraud cases where he has been the designated expert witness and consultant. In addition, he has also authored a multipart article that gives important tips to homeowners prior to starting any type of new construction or renovation. Those articles in his CONTRACTOR FRAUD SERIES "Don't Become a Victim" and
"Beware of Unscrupulous Contractors" are also published in a variety of locations in trade journals and other internet informational sites. Mike is also contacted repeatedly by attorneys that have either used his services in the past, were representing opposing sides on previous cases, or have heard of his involvement in many significant court cases and mediated settlement proceedings.
Most of the homeowners calling in are very frustrated and just can't believe that they have become victims of contractor fraud. They are generally irate and convinced that they deserve to recover not only all of their money back, but now they also want "the head" of the contractor as well. They simply do not understand how they could possibly be in the position that they are in. Generally, it seems that they did not bother to verify and qualify any of the conditions, contractual obligations, or the contractor's references that were made to them prior to beginning work on their home.
The homeowners list of complaints is often like listening to one of Mike Panish's Contractor Fraud articles being read aloud. They relay all of the problems and issues that have taken place with their construction project. As the conversation goes on, we hear, almost word for word, examples that have been the subjects of one of Mike's contractor fraud articles. The only new information we hear usually pertains to the particular events that are personalized for their cases.
As written in many of Mike Panish's previous articles, homeowners make the same poor choice of a contractor and experience construction mistakes regardless of their level of sophistication, education, or location. Mike is baffled, listening as one homeowner tells him that her husband, in an effort to keep things friendly and keep the job flowing, repeatedly paid and overpaid their contractor to keep him on the job. Construction problems, inappropriate construction issues and outright mistakes made by the contractor and his crews were funded completely by the homeowners, even though there was no reason for them to make these over payments.
Mike Panish has worked with many different attorneys pursuing contractor related defects and fraud claims over the past 12 years. In many claims fraud has been established, and the homeowner has ultimately prevailed and received landmark verdicts. However, the ability to collect any money back from the contractor is sometimes limited. Some cases have been successful because there were valid insurance policies that have provided some form of relief to the homeowner. A lot of angry homeowners want to claim that the contractor they engaged for their project committed fraud. Not every case is easy to determine a clear cut path of fraudulent behavior on the part of the contractor. Other claims made by homeowners have proven that contractors have lived up to their contractual agreements and the homeowners were wrong in making their allegations. There have been several homeowners that have been guilty of attempting to defraud the contractor. These cases typically involved a homeowner accepting the lowest bid presented to them for their project. While all other contractor bids were grouped in a significantly higher price range, the homeowners thought that they could profit from the sole contractor that proposed the lowest price. In a few of these cases, the homeowner attempted to force the insurance company to complete the job started by the contractor, while knowing from the beginning that the job could never have been completed for the proposed original bid. Those cases were looked upon as an example of unfair advantage and were found to be a case of "Unjust Enrichment" on the part of the homeowner. When a homeowner benefits unfairly from a knowing action that is generally found to be unjust enrichment. Attempting to trick an inexperienced person acting as a contractor into an act where you hold either hidden information or special knowledge is not the way to pursue a fraud claim. That inexperienced contractor may have had no business attempting to work as a contractor, but that is a different issue of an unqualified tradesmen.
Working for both plaintiff and defense sides of these types of cases allows Mike Panish a unique perspective that other experts consistently working on one side do not have. As a working general contractor, it is essential to provide clear and precise descriptions of all of the proposed elements of a project. Entering into a legal contract of any kind should not be taken lightly. It is equally important that any homeowner fully understand all of the terms and conditions associated with their construction project obligations. If both parties enter into a clearly defined agreement, and all questions of potential dispute are addressed prior to the commencement of the project, there should be no reason for contention at a later date. Both homeowners and contractors need to take their project obligations seriously. As for most contractors, they should be held to an even higher standard for performance as the trained professional offering services to a homeowner. While every case may appear to be unique, many cases have common threads of misunderstanding and concealed problems that create these construction related lawsuits.
Mike Panish is the perfect expert for every construction related homeowner vs. contractor dispute. He has years of on the job working experience as a contractor, and has been involved in numerous litigation actions that have had exceptional decisions in favor of his clients. Mike knows the pertinent statutes and understands codes involved in claims related to fraudulent activities. He has been the sole expert on many cases where both sides agreed to enlist his services to reach a reasonable and satisfactory resolution of a claim. Mike has a wealth of information for concerned attorneys seeking the assistance of the best expert for their current cases. Homeowners that are currently involved in a dispute should contact an attorney and suggest they retain Mike Panish to get positive results for their claim. Contractors involved in an unjustified action should seek Mr. Panish's help to understand the best way to resolve their involvement.