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Home Improvement Contractor and Chapter 93A letter

I have a problem with a Home Improvement contractor. I signed a contract to have to have some work in a new house that I’m building. The contractor is located in New Hampshire and is does not have a HIC registration with the state but conducts a lot of business in this state. They are a subsidiary of a larger company located in Georgia or Florida. The parent company does have a registration number with the state. They also have another subsidiary located in Massachusetts with the same name as the company in New Hampshire but which is run independently. It also is not registered and does not have HIC number. I’m unhappy with some of the work done, the wrong products used, and damages caused poor installation on the job and some theft on the job site. I don’t know if were there installers or because they left the site several times unlocked and doors open. They have one more part of the job to complete which I would rather not see them any more because of the problems. I have held back $5000 dollars of a $29,000 dollars contract. I have tried to get them to correct the problems and own up to the damages caused by there installers with no success. Also I have been asking them for a breakdown of the bill which they have so far refused to provide. I want a breakdown so I can send them a Chapter 93A letter stating how much my damages total. I think the damages are going to be close or more than the $5000 dollars that I have held back. They have now sent the matter to a collection agency and say if I do not pay the full amount they refer it to a lawyer. How do I phrase the demand letter where I have held back money for damages and they say I owe them the full amount? Which location do I send the demand letter? Do I have case for the Home Improvement Contractor Program where the company that performed the work is unregistered? When can they put a lien on the property and does it matter that my wife never signed the contract? I was hoping to get this matter resolved without going to court or getting a lawyer that will most likely be more than amount owed. Thanks for you your help.

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I'm guessing you do not want to hear this, but given the amount of money involved, and that the contractor apparently disagrees strongly with your assessment of the situation (based on it's threats of legal action), I think you should contact a MA attorney in your area and ask her to review the contract and the situation.  You may have to pay for a couple hours of her time, but if you hire an experienced attorney, it will be worth the money.  If you can proceed under Chapter 93A, you may be able to recover you attorney's fees and triple damages.  As to your question, follow this line for information about using 93A to sue an out-of-state entity.  For additional information about the MA Consumer Protection Act, visit our Massachusetts Consumer Protection Discussion Forum.


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