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  1. #1

    Default Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Hi all,
    I am selling my home and the prospective buyer paid for a home inspection. I received a copy of the inspection through my agent. The problem is that the inspection report is full of errors and out-right lies. Here are a few:
    1. The inspector noted no smoke alarms present during the inspection I had 5 total installed at the time of the inspection. One in each bedroom, living room, basement, and hallway. Somehow he missed all of them.
    2. He stated the refrigerator is plugged into a GFCI outlet. - It is not, I replaced it 2 weeks before he showed up with a standard outlet.
    3. He stated the the gaps of mortar missing in the brick veneer need filled. - Smart inspectors would recognize them as weep holes, not missing mortar.
    4. He stated that our GFCI outlets near the sink are defective. - He didn't bother to reset the first GFCI outlet up stream, thereby causing the downstream outlets to not work.
    5. He stated that our front porch ceiling is aluminum - It's plywood, that you can clearly see the wood grain.
    6. He stated that the plunger in our tub is functional. - We don't have one, we use a stopper.
    7. The inspector stated the roof is near it's end of life. - Even though I've had a professional roofer state that it is serviceable minus a few popped nails and a couple broken shingles.
    I could go on, but you get my point. The inspector failed to provide an accurate inspection.

    My question is this: Is there any legal recourse if the buyers are scared off by his fraudulent report? What can I do to save the sale? The buyers want the non-existing electrical issues fixed. And a new roof.

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I doubt you would succeed at doing anything other than spending money for attorney's fees and court costs.

    Here is just one example why:
    - Roofer says roof is serviceable ... that could be taken as a polite way of saying that roof is at the end of its life ... but has not totally failed yet.
    - Inspector said roof is near its end of life.
    - Not much difference between the two, is there?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Kinda sounds like he mixed up our house with another and sent the wrong report.

    Recourse will depend on where you are. Different states and jurisdictions will make a difference on what action you may have available.

    Buyers are interested. Why not request that they meet directly with you to discuss their offer. Agents wont like it though. Broken shingle and nail pops repaired may make the roof serviceable though still at the end of serviceable life. Serviceable is one thing and useful life is another.

    Non existent electrical issues are the least costly to fix.

    It just sounds like the roof is the major concern for the buyers. Asking for a new roof is a very common request from a buyer these days. it is all about negotiating the contract. You don't have to do anything or you can do everything it is your decision.


    You may offer to have the buyers get a different inspector and that you will pay for it at closing.

    Fraudulent is different than incompetent. You may have recourse but the question is cost to litigate and ability to demonstrate being damaged and actual amount of that damage.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Hi all,
    I am selling my home and the prospective buyer paid for a home inspection. I received a copy of the inspection through my agent. The problem is that the inspection report is full of errors and out-right lies. Here are a few:
    1. The inspector noted no smoke alarms present during the inspection I had 5 total installed at the time of the inspection. One in each bedroom, living room, basement, and hallway. Somehow he missed all of them.
    2. He stated the refrigerator is plugged into a GFCI outlet. - It is not, I replaced it 2 weeks before he showed up with a standard outlet.
    3. He stated the the gaps of mortar missing in the brick veneer need filled. - Smart inspectors would recognize them as weep holes, not missing mortar.
    4. He stated that our GFCI outlets near the sink are defective. - He didn't bother to reset the first GFCI outlet up stream, thereby causing the downstream outlets to not work.
    5. He stated that our front porch ceiling is aluminum - It's plywood, that you can clearly see the wood grain.
    6. He stated that the plunger in our tub is functional. - We don't have one, we use a stopper.
    7. The inspector stated the roof is near it's end of life. - Even though I've had a professional roofer state that it is serviceable minus a few popped nails and a couple broken shingles.
    I could go on, but you get my point. The inspector failed to provide an accurate inspection.

    My question is this: Is there any legal recourse if the buyers are scared off by his fraudulent report? What can I do to save the sale? The buyers want the non-existing electrical issues fixed. And a new roof.
    Simple solution. Offer them a written warranty and guarantee on the house. Personally guarantee that all of the items you feel the inspector erroneously reported will be paid for, by yourself, if any of these are found to be defective or fail within the next _x_ number of years. Near the end of its life would probably be around 5 years max. So guarantee these components for the next 5 years.

    This causes you no upfront costs and if everything is as acceptable as you claim you should have no problem with a 5 year guarantee.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Hi all,
    I am selling my home and the prospective buyer paid for a home inspection. I received a copy of the inspection through my agent. The problem is that the inspection report is full of errors and out-right lies. Here are a few:
    1. The inspector noted no smoke alarms present during the inspection I had 5 total installed at the time of the inspection. One in each bedroom, living room, basement, and hallway. Somehow he missed all of them.
    2. He stated the refrigerator is plugged into a GFCI outlet. - It is not, I replaced it 2 weeks before he showed up with a standard outlet.
    3. He stated the the gaps of mortar missing in the brick veneer need filled. - Smart inspectors would recognize them as weep holes, not missing mortar.
    4. He stated that our GFCI outlets near the sink are defective. - He didn't bother to reset the first GFCI outlet up stream, thereby causing the downstream outlets to not work.
    5. He stated that our front porch ceiling is aluminum - It's plywood, that you can clearly see the wood grain.
    6. He stated that the plunger in our tub is functional. - We don't have one, we use a stopper.
    7. The inspector stated the roof is near it's end of life. - Even though I've had a professional roofer state that it is serviceable minus a few popped nails and a couple broken shingles.
    I could go on, but you get my point. The inspector failed to provide an accurate inspection.

    My question is this: Is there any legal recourse if the buyers are scared off by his fraudulent report? What can I do to save the sale? The buyers want the non-existing electrical issues fixed. And a new roof.
    Well, it sounds like the inspector was a real winner! I would not call him fraudulent but more on the side of incompetent.

    Sure, you can sue whoever you want but keep in mind that you will be spending a good deal of money on a lawsuit that could take a very long time to settle and in the end if you win you would get a judgment which does not mean the inspector has the net worth to settle the judgment. Just because you win a civil lawsuit does not mean you really win!

    I would call the inspector up or have your agent call the inspector and have them come back out to the home to reinspect and then offer a corrected report.

    What state are you in? Several states do not even regulate home inspectors.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Ken has a good idea.
    You might also communicate to the potential buyers exactly what you said here, point by point. The roof may be a sticking point, but the other items could easily be eliminated from the list.

    Starting a lawsuit would be a waste of time and money in my opinion.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    2. He stated the refrigerator is plugged into a GFCI outlet. - It is not, I replaced it 2 weeks before he showed up with a standard outlet.
    Based on the information we have been given, I'm not yet willing to condemn the inspector as incompetent.

    The above is the SECOND part of the post (I already pointed out another part) which may indicate that there is a communication and knowledge gap on behalf of the poster.

    Given the information we have been given "replacing a GFCI receptacle with a standard receptacle" does NOT in any way mean or indicate that the refrigerator is NOT still on a GFCI protected receptacle.

    Especially knowing (we were told this) that other GFCI receptacles are protected by upstream GFCI receptacles.

    I think some are jumping to conclusions to quickly.

    It does sound like the report may have had some problems which brings the report into question. Likewise, though, there may be similar problems with the information posted which also brings the posted information into question.

    Just saying: careful how quickly and how far you jump when jumping to conclusions.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Jerry,
    Agree on not jumping to conclusions. I introduced "incompetent" as alternative to "fraudulent" which are vastly too different things. It is possible that the inspectors fancy inspection software needs to be tweaked or corrected. Software is only as good as the person using it and that may be the problem. To many variables to figure what happened.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Agree on not jumping to conclusions. I introduced "incompetent" as alternative to "fraudulent" which are vastly too different things.
    Garry,

    I completely agree as there was likely no intent of fraud, whereas incompetent can be a state of mind.

    It is possible that the inspectors fancy inspection software needs to be tweaked or corrected. Software is only as good as the person using it and that may be the problem.
    Yep, and too many inspectors use their software "out of the box" without tweaking it or personalizing it (other than for company name, etc.).

    We had a ball pitched to us and we have not yet verified whether the ball is baseball, softball, fast-pitch softball, or "foooot baaaaaalll ... Gooooooaaaaalllll" ,

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Well, it sounds like the inspector was a real winner! I would not call him fraudulent but more on the side of incompetent.

    Sure, you can sue whoever you want but keep in mind that you will be spending a good deal of money on a lawsuit that could take a very long time to settle and in the end if you win you would get a judgment which does not mean the inspector has the net worth to settle the judgment. Just because you win a civil lawsuit does not mean you really win!

    I would call the inspector up or have your agent call the inspector and have them come back out to the home to reinspect and then offer a corrected report.

    What state are you in? Several states do not even regulate home inspectors.
    Pennsylvania.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I doubt you would succeed at doing anything other than spending money for attorney's fees and court costs.

    Here is just one example why:
    - Roofer says roof is serviceable ... that could be taken as a polite way of saying that roof is at the end of its life ... but has not totally failed yet.
    - Inspector said roof is near its end of life.
    - Not much difference between the two, is there?
    I guess as far as legal action, I mean having him forced to correct his report to reflect reality not what he clearly missed or lied about. Not seeing five different smoke detectors, mounted directly above each door of the bedrooms. One mounted directly above the utility closet that he entered.
    Claiming to have checked functionality of items that do not exist. Stating an appliance is plugged into a GFCI outlet that is clearly not GFCI. Can any home inspector be that ignorant without willful fraud? By the way, I forgot to mention that the inspector, buying agent, and buyer know each other. During the inspection the buyer asked the inspector why "____" wasn't there to perform the inspection. Also they were discussing seeing each other at church the following Sunday. I suspect, if anything, the buyers were trying to get the inspector to justify dropping the price. After all their initial offer was 30K below the listing price.


  12. #12

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Some new developments.
    I've learned from other real estate agents that this inspector is known for questionable reports.
    My agent was not happy when he learned the name of the inspector choosen by the buyers and their agent.
    We spoke to the Radon mitigation service about our failed Radon test. (Yes he failed us on that too). Now keep in mind this is a business that makes money on Radon systems. This business owner is very familiar with this inspector. He knows the inspector to be questionable in how he conducts his Radon testing. The owner stated that this inspector has a habit of testing during high-wind periods which should not be done. Also the inspector never talked to us about the location of the Radon tester. He just put it in place and said leave the doors and windows closed except when entering leaving the house. He did not put tamper tape on the windows, he did not ensure the windows were closed for 12 hours prior to starting the test. All things the mitigation service owner stated should be done. He advised us to get another test from a reputable Radon test service. He believes we are likely not to need the Radon mitigation because our test results were so close to the maximum allowable amount. This from a company that makes a living installing these systems.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Some new developments.
    I've learned from other real estate agents that this inspector is known for questionable reports.
    My agent was not happy when he learned the name of the inspector choosen by the buyers and their agent.
    We spoke to the Radon mitigation service about our failed Radon test. (Yes he failed us on that too). Now keep in mind this is a business that makes money on Radon systems. This business owner is very familiar with this inspector. He knows the inspector to be questionable in how he conducts his Radon testing. The owner stated that this inspector has a habit of testing during high-wind periods which should not be done. Also the inspector never talked to us about the location of the Radon tester. He just put it in place and said leave the doors and windows closed except when entering leaving the house. He did not put tamper tape on the windows, he did not ensure the windows were closed for 12 hours prior to starting the test. All things the mitigation service owner stated should be done. He advised us to get another test from a reputable Radon test service. He believes we are likely not to need the Radon mitigation because our test results were so close to the maximum allowable amount. This from a company that makes a living installing these systems.
    What was the number on the radon test?

    PA has a form of a home inspector license law, but the last I heard they had no enforcement of it. You can always file a complaint with the state. As for radon, I think PA is one of the states with pretty strict enforcement.

    The roof in the photos is at the end of its life... Sure it could be nursed for a few more years and repairs made as shingles fly off in the wind but........

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 06-18-2014 at 05:44 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    I guess as far as legal action, I mean having him forced to correct his report to reflect reality not what he clearly missed or lied about.
    There is no requirement to do that - good business to do it, yes, but your next post indicates the inspector is questionable, so good business is likely not a concern. "Missing" something is one thing ... EVERYONE "MISSES" things (as you will quickly see below) ... "lying" about things is not necessarily the case ... EVEN THOUGH YOU SEEM TO HAVE CONVINCED YOURSELF that the inspector is "lying" and did not just "miss" things.

    Not seeing five different smoke detectors, mounted directly above each door of the bedrooms. One mounted directly above the utility closet that he entered.
    Sounds like they would be a bit hard to "miss".

    Claiming to have checked functionality of items that do not exist.
    YOU said you had a stopper for that drain ... or did YOU "miss" ... er ... "lie" about that? YOU SAID: "we use a stopper", was the stopper "functional" or not? If it was "functional" then he was not incorrect, his terminology was incorrect, however, if it was NOT "functional" was that on YOUR seller disclosure form stating that it was not functional? "Lying" ... er ... "missing" goes both ways, you could really be putting yourself in a pickle if you "lied" by NOT including things on a seller disclosure form, and if a seller disclosure form is not used where you are, NOT telling your buyer about them could be fraudulent - again, it works both ways.

    Stating an appliance is plugged into a GFCI outlet that is clearly not GFCI.
    This is just ONE MORE THING YOU ARE "MISSING" - the fact that the refrigerator can be plugged into that receptacle, which is not a GFCI receptacle, BUT WHICH MAY still be GFCI protected. Seems that YOU are "missing" that possibility ... do you even understand how that can be?

    Seems to me that you doth protest too much ... as the saying goes.

    Can any home inspector be that ignorant without willful fraud?
    Unfortunately ... yes ... a home inspector can be that out of touch with their profession.

    By the way, I forgot to mention that the inspector, buying agent, and buyer know each other.
    So?

    Again, me thinks you doth protest too much - makes the good points you raised almost seem as though you are biased ... wait, you are.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I have yet figured out how to put high levels of radon into a house I was going to test.
    A couple points....
    Using tamper proof tape is not a requirement. In fact. many home owners would be really pissed if I did use the tape. The adhesive is very aggressive, and can remove paint.
    I'm not sure how I would verify the house was in test ready condition 12 hours prior to my arrival. It just does not happen.
    While I may sometimes NOT do a test if the weather forecast has high winds or pending storms, I do not plan my inspections based on upcoming weather. To claim that this inspector somehow only does testing when there are high winds is ridiculous.
    Most of us on this forum have someone in their town that will call them deal killers, or imply they don't know what they are doing. Home inspections is one of the few lines of work that the better you are at your job, the more complaints you get from disgruntled parties.

    While you may have some valid points of complaint against this inspector (weep holes for one), there are other points that he may have been correct (like it or not).

    There is also nothing wrong with the inspector, buyer, and buyer's agent knowing each other, or going to church together. I have done many inspections for people that go to my church. There also must be at least 20 Realtors that go to my church.

    I understand that you are upset with the inspector and inspection. I suspect that the buyer backed out for a variety of reasons, and they were probably not limited to only the ones you have listed. However, besides the roof, the other things listed could have easily been taken care of for very little money.

    Just looking at your photos, I would probably have issues with the roof as well. It obviously needs repair right now.

    While you may be able to salvage this deal, its not likely to happen if you keep calling the inspector a fraud, or claiming there is nothing wrong. Depending on how badly you want to sell the house, you might be better off having the electrical work done (if its not needed, it won't cost much), and negotiate something on the roof.
    Good luck with your sale.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    There is no requirement to do that - good business to do it, yes, but your next post indicates the inspector is questionable, so good business is likely not a concern. "Missing" something is one thing ... EVERYONE "MISSES" things (as you will quickly see below) ... "lying" about things is not necessarily the case ... EVEN THOUGH YOU SEEM TO HAVE CONVINCED YOURSELF that the inspector is "lying" and did not just "miss" things.



    Sounds like they would be a bit hard to "miss".



    YOU said you had a stopper for that drain ... or did YOU "miss" ... er ... "lie" about that? YOU SAID: "we use a stopper", was the stopper "functional" or not? If it was "functional" then he was not incorrect, his terminology was incorrect, however, if it was NOT "functional" was that on YOUR seller disclosure form stating that it was not functional? "Lying" ... er ... "missing" goes both ways, you could really be putting yourself in a pickle if you "lied" by NOT including things on a seller disclosure form, and if a seller disclosure form is not used where you are, NOT telling your buyer about them could be fraudulent - again, it works both ways.

    We use a rubber stopper. That stopper was sitting in the drawer under the sink. We don't use the bath, just take showers. So the stopper was not there during inspection, there is no plunger. He stated that he checked something that was not there. Not hard to understand I think. It's a lie!



    This is just ONE MORE THING YOU ARE "MISSING" - the fact that the refrigerator can be plugged into that receptacle, which is not a GFCI receptacle, BUT WHICH MAY still be GFCI protected. Seems that YOU are "missing" that possibility ... do you even understand how that can be?

    Seems to me that you doth protest too much ... as the saying goes.

    No I'm not an idiot. I understand that the refrigerator could be connected to a circuit that is protected by GFCI. It is on a separate circuit, that does not have any GFCI outlets. And as you can see in the pics, the outlet is not GFCI. This is the outlet it was plugged into during the inspection. There are no other outlets on that wall, that it could be moved to. I won't call this a lie but it certainly should call into question this inspectors basic knowledge of residential wiring.


    Unfortunately ... yes ... a home inspector can be that out of touch with their profession.

    Then said inspector should be prohibited from conducting home inspections.



    So?

    Again, me thinks you doth protest too much - makes the good points you raised almost seem as though you are biased ... wait, you are.
    Yes I am biased. But I believe this inspector may cause me a sale due to his actions. If I cannot take legal action, then I shall wage a Social Media war that will take a bite out of his business.

    Can you really defend a guy that can't tell the difference between plywood and aluminum?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Yes I am biased. But I believe this inspector may cause me a sale due to his actions.
    Refer to what Scott said - it is not the inspector who will cause you to lose the sale, it will be you and your refusal to negotiate.

    If I cannot take legal action, then I shall wage a Social Media war that will take a bite out of his business.
    Precisely what I would suspect from your earlier replies - it's your "not my fault" attitude, it's "the inspector's fault" - nope ... it is your fault.

    Can you really defend a guy that can't tell the difference between plywood and aluminum?
    There are items you mentioned that he said that I am not defending, just like there are items you mentioned that you said that I am not defending - BOTH OF YOU appear to have made mistakes, your biggest mistake is your attitude that there is nothing you can do, when in fact it is all about what you can do ... or, more correctly stated in this case, what you refuse to do - negotiate with your buyer.

    You wage a social media war on him, I hope he picks these posts up and wages back on you ... YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SELL YOUR HOUSE ... YOU ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO KILL THE SALE OF YOUR HOUSE ... it is up to you.

    Your attitude is the type which gives social media war waging a such bad name.

    You have quite possibly given that inspector sufficient information in this thread and threat or yours that, should you wage war in social media against him, he may be the one to be able to file suit against you, and win, and own your house (so to speak) - wouldn't that be a unique and appropriate twist of fate?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I have yet figured out how to put high levels of radon into a house I was going to test.
    A couple points....
    Using tamper proof tape is not a requirement. In fact. many home owners would be really pissed if I did use the tape. The adhesive is very aggressive, and can remove paint.
    I'm not sure how I would verify the house was in test ready condition 12 hours prior to my arrival. It just does not happen.
    While I may sometimes NOT do a test if the weather forecast has high winds or pending storms, I do not plan my inspections based on upcoming weather. To claim that this inspector somehow only does testing when there are high winds is ridiculous.
    Most of us on this forum have someone in their town that will call them deal killers, or imply they don't know what they are doing. Home inspections is one of the few lines of work that the better you are at your job, the more complaints you get from disgruntled parties.

    While you may have some valid points of complaint against this inspector (weep holes for one), there are other points that he may have been correct (like it or not).

    There is also nothing wrong with the inspector, buyer, and buyer's agent knowing each other, or going to church together. I have done many inspections for people that go to my church. There also must be at least 20 Realtors that go to my church.

    I understand that you are upset with the inspector and inspection. I suspect that the buyer backed out for a variety of reasons, and they were probably not limited to only the ones you have listed. However, besides the roof, the other things listed could have easily been taken care of for very little money.

    Just looking at your photos, I would probably have issues with the roof as well. It obviously needs repair right now.

    While you may be able to salvage this deal, its not likely to happen if you keep calling the inspector a fraud, or claiming there is nothing wrong. Depending on how badly you want to sell the house, you might be better off having the electrical work done (if its not needed, it won't cost much), and negotiate something on the roof.
    Good luck with your sale.
    First, thanks for the reply and well wishes.

    Here is the document the Radon mitigation service reffered me to for more info on testing.
    http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/...lor%20only.pdf
    Page 10 is where the procedure is discussed.
    The mitigation service has a history with this inspector. He mentioned telling the inspector that he tested during high-wind weather by checking the results with the weather during that time frame. The inspector has always refused to re-do the radon test. The mitigation service has recommended several times to other clients to have another test done, with the results differing from the original inspection. Usually in the clients favor.

    I mentioned the relationship between the buyers/agent inspector just as a possible motivation for the inspector helping the buyers get a lower price on the house. I may be wrong.

    As far as the roof. I have a another professional roofer coming by tomorrow. This will be the second roofer to view it. This first agreed that is does not need replaced... yet. If a roofer tells me it needs replaced I'll follow that advise. Can you tell me what you see that is of concern. There's no leaks, no spongy spots. All decking feels solid. A few shingles have wear spots but none are curled or cracked or loose.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Yes, it sounds like the inspector made mistakes. It also sounds like most of those mistakes do not matter too much. Regarding the roof, it does look like it is nearing the end of its like. It may be serviceable, but when a roof looks like that most inspectors do not want to go out on a limb and tell the buyer it will be ok for x number of years. And, most buyers do not want to buy a house that may need a new roof at any time without at least some compensation-would you?


  20. #20

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Refer to what Scott said - it is not the inspector who will cause you to lose the sale, it will be you and your refusal to negotiate.



    Precisely what I would suspect from your earlier replies - it's your "not my fault" attitude, it's "the inspector's fault" - nope ... it is your fault.



    There are items you mentioned that he said that I am not defending, just like there are items you mentioned that you said that I am not defending - BOTH OF YOU appear to have made mistakes, your biggest mistake is your attitude that there is nothing you can do, when in fact it is all about what you can do ... or, more correctly stated in this case, what you refuse to do - negotiate with your buyer.

    You wage a social media war on him, I hope he picks these posts up and wages back on you ... YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SELL YOUR HOUSE ... YOU ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO KILL THE SALE OF YOUR HOUSE ... it is up to you.

    Your attitude is the type which gives social media war waging a such bad name.

    You have quite possibly given that inspector sufficient information in this thread and threat or yours that, should you wage war in social media against him, he may be the one to be able to file suit against you, and win, and own your house (so to speak) - wouldn't that be a unique and appropriate twist of fate?
    I've already dropped my price by 7 grand since dealing with this buyer. I feel that I have been more than reasonable with these people. They initially offered 95K on a 119k listing. I came back with 115K, they came back with 97k. I dropped to 114k and they came back with 100k. We finally reached 112k as a deal. Now they are demanding 10k off the price due to this inspectors recommendations. So I am expected to drop my price based on an erroneous inspection!
    This couple lost their house to a fire along with all their furniture. I agreed to leave several pieces of furnature and other items to help them out. So for my kindness I get this?

    So should I not share with the world a person claiming to be a professional Home Inspector with
    Engineer/Member: ASHI, NACHI, GREI, ASME, AARST after his name, does not know the difference between plywood and aluminum, GFCI from standard outlets, or that weep holes are not defects in the brick veneer. Inexcusable in my book.

    Last edited by David Crawford; 06-18-2014 at 07:54 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Yes, it sounds like the inspector made mistakes. It also sounds like most of those mistakes do not matter too much. Regarding the roof, it does look like it is nearing the end of its like. It may be serviceable, but when a roof looks like that most inspectors do not want to go out on a limb and tell the buyer it will be ok for x number of years. And, most buyers do not want to buy a house that may need a new roof at any time without at least some compensation-would you?
    Maybe I wrong, but is it the inspectors place to tell a buyer that a roof needs to be replaced even if it's current state is serviceable. I can understand not committing to a length of time remaining on a roof. But are you not present the facts and allow the buyer to decide what action to take. I find this particularly hard to take with a professional roofer stating that the roof does not need to be replaced. All the other mistakes the inspector made is what drives me to believe he does not know what he is doing and cannot accurately assess the condition of my home.
    By the way I also have a 1 yr Home Warranty included with the house.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Go get your own inspection to counter.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Maybe I wrong, but is it the inspectors place to tell a buyer that a roof needs to be replaced even if it's current state is serviceable. I can understand not committing to a length of time remaining on a roof. But are you not present the facts and allow the buyer to decide what action to take. I find this particularly hard to take with a professional roofer stating that the roof does not need to be replaced. All the other mistakes the inspector made is what drives me to believe he does not know what he is doing and cannot accurately assess the condition of my home.
    By the way I also have a 1 yr Home Warranty included with the house.
    Tell your roofer that you want him to stand by his assessment - that you want him to get a "serviceability bond" (I doubt that there is such a bond) and that you want the insurance company (the issuer of the bond) to cover the cost of the roof if the roof needs to be replaced within 5 years.

    Home inspectors typically will address a roof which is unlikely to last at least another fiver years. While there are never any guarantees on how long a roof is going to last, the buyer wants some compensation for buying a house with a roof which is only "serviceable" and "nearing end of its life".

    As has already been asked, would you want to buy a house which had a roof which the best the roofer could say about it was that it was "serviceable" and had not failed yet? Or would you want a new roof, or some compensation for the likelihood of having to replace the roof in the near future? Find out how much it costs to replace the roof then offer to split the cost and give them their half off the price or as a credit at closing (varies by area of the country as to what is normally done). That might be what it takes to seal the deal.

    What is the cost of your roof? $5,000? Split it as $2,500 each.

    The "value" of your house may not be the $119k you were asking, it appears not to be as the "value" of anything, real estate included, is simply what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree to. You stated you and the buyer agreed to $112k *before the inspection*, seems that most of the items are no brainers to explain away (you seem not still not understand that it is possible that the refrigerator is on a GFCI "protected" receptacle and are hung up on the receptacle itself not being a GFCI receptacle, as though that means anything for GFCI "protection" - the receptacle may not be GFCI "protected", but you have not addressed that, only that the receptacle "is not a GFCI receptacle") ... after the no brainers are explained away ... there is that roof issue - deal with it.

    If you went down to buy a car and agreed to pay $xxxx for it, then took it to a mechanic who said the engine was shot and needed to be rebuilt - would you still be willing to pay the same $xxxx for it, or would you ask for something off that price? Think about it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Outside of a careless/sloppy inspector this looks like somewhat of a normal transaction. Buyers are picky and want everything perfect. Sellers think the house is great and don't want to pay for anything. Inspector doesn't want to get sued so he speculates about some things that are coming and going to need to be replaced.

    We don't all get of bed trying to ruin a seller's day. But, any inspector that does any kind of volume will be quick to tell you that the calls he/she sometimes get make it so they have to be a bit defensive in the way you write your reports. The first roofing contractor to set foot on the property after the new buyer gets there will look at the roof from the street and say something like, "I can't believe your inspector MISSED that. Your roof is done!"

    It sounds like the inspector was a bit sloppy and I agree he should correct any glaring errors in his report. Otherwise, I understand the frustration but it's kind of just the way things are selling a house.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David,
    Listing price really means nothing. A competitive market analysis has some value. True value is what someone will accept, the end. The inspection is for the buyers benefit. The buyer could have Uncle Fred look over the house and give his opinion, right or wrong. It all boils down to what you will accept for the property. The rest means nothing.

    You need to detach your emotions from the property and its sale. Buyers come and buyers go. The buyer in your case low balled you and you feel insulted. ...... well, get over it. The buyer is attempting to use the inspection report as leverage to negotiate the price down, well get over it. Either you go along with them or you don't. No where is it stated that you have to give the report any credence. You can summarily dismiss any offer they make. You can negotiate on your terms instead of theirs.

    Not knowing the terms of sale or the contingencies included, you the seller, can reject any thing in the contract offered to you. That rejection can include their inspector and his report.

    Maybe you should not have any contact with the buyers or their agent. If you have an agent you and instruct them to only present you with the offer and nothing else. You could tell your agent that you don't want to hear any of the buyers wining or reasoning about the price offered. You only want to hear the price and conditions nothing else, nada.

    In PA you can't force the HI to change the report. It is between the HI and the buyers. PA requires E&O insurance to protect the client not the seller or any third party.

    You mentioned fraud and I suggested incompetence when it may be a mater of collusion between the buyer, the agent and the HI. It really doesn't matter. You can not force the alteration of the report. You could get your on inspection report and offer it to all that inquire about the property. That way there is something for other potential buyers to compare and question.

    I learned many years ago that the party who allows their emotions to rule their actions in negotiations are the ones on the loosing side of the equation.

    Good luck, move on and focus on the next buyer.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David
    The issue in all this that your are clearly missing, is the the Inspection Report is not your report. It is the basis of a contract between the buyer and the Inspector. The report may or may not contain errors, omissions or discrepancies but those issues, right or wrong may or may not result in additional negotiation between the only two parties involved in the transaction - you and the buyer. The buyer can walk away from the transaction, with or without the report, for other reasons and so can you.

    If the buyer walks because of the alleged issues it's because you both failed to renegotiate successfully to conclusion. Any conditions of items or components viewed during an inspection and contained in the report are largely opinions, usually with some additional facts in support of those opinions. If the report contains incorrect factual information then nothing needs to be done to correct the alleged defect. It just calls for additional explanation if there is a demand for repair of that item. You can not fix something not broken.

    I recently sold a property where the buyer's inspector said a built-in electric wall heater was not working. He had turned the on /off knob on the heater and it failed to heat. The buyer requested repair, replacement or $500. The allegation confused me because, being an Inspector, I had made sure no significant issues affected the properties value. I looked at the heater, switched on the master wall switch providing power to the heater, turned it on with on/off knob and it fired right up, without any problems whatsoever. As a courtesy, I cleaned the fan blades and grille, vacuumed the inside and lubricated the motor shaft bearing. I explained my actions to the buyer and showed him the working heater during his final walk-through. He was a happy camper and the deal was closed without further incident. I have bought and sold dozens of properties and every sale or purchase will have some little wrinkle. I could give you dozens of similar examples.

    If there is a demand for repairs based on the inspector's report, just negotiate, explain and move forward. Today's deal is better than tomorrow's promise.


  27. #27

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    After sleeping on it, and reading the replies here, I've decided to wait until my second roofer gives me his assessment. If he says it should be replaced I'll do as Jerry suggested, offer to split the cost. I have to admit I have become quite emotional over the whole ordeal. The low ball offer with the results of this inspection taking any profit I may have made from the sale.
    I just figured if this inspector can fail to properly inspect the simple areas of the home, how much creditability can his assessment of our roof be.
    Yes, if I had an inspector say the roof is near end of life, I'd want it replaced or be compensated. But again, I question his judgment, particularly when a roofer disagrees.

    Finally. I don't know how much simpler I can put it. The refrigerator is on a separate circuit. That circuit has NO GFCI outlets on it, and no GFCI breaker on it. Therefore, unless there is some new technology that allows a separate GFCI outlet to "magically" protect another outlet on a separate circuit. I'm standing by my comment that the refrigerator is not protected by a GFCI. And I expect a home inspector to be able to make that same assessment. I showed him the outlet and proved it is not GFCI protected in ANY way. And still left it in his report. That in my opinion is fraudulent.

    Thank you all for your replies and advise.

    - - - Updated - - -

    After sleeping on it, and reading the replies here, I've decided to wait until my second roofer gives me his assessment. If he says it should be replaced I'll do as Jerry suggested, offer to split the cost. I have to admit I have become quite emotional over the whole ordeal. The low ball offer with the results of this inspection taking any profit I may have made from the sale.
    I just figured if this inspector can fail to properly inspect the simple areas of the home, how much creditability can his assessment of our roof be.
    Yes, if I had an inspector say the roof is near end of life, I'd want it replaced or be compensated. But again, I question his judgment, particularly when a roofer disagrees.

    Finally. I don't know how much simpler I can put it. The refrigerator is on a separate circuit. That circuit has NO GFCI outlets on it, and no GFCI breaker on it. Therefore, unless there is some new technology that allows a separate GFCI outlet to "magically" protect another outlet on a separate circuit. I'm standing by my comment that the refrigerator is not protected by a GFCI. And I expect a home inspector to be able to make that same assessment. I showed him the outlet and proved it is not GFCI protected in ANY way. And still left it in his report. That in my opinion is fraudulent.

    Thank you all for your replies and advise.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Buying and selling a home is very emotional for both parties. It can be very stressful.

    Calling out a wrong material can be as simple as a mouse click on the wrong box, not a sign that someone can not tell the difference in materials. Depending on the software the inspector uses, it can be an honest mistake. Calling out the wrong material does not really affect the inspection outcome.

    Regarding the roof. According to ASHI Standards of Practice, an inspector must tell their client when something is "near the end of their service lives". If a roof has missing shingles, its a sign that they are getting brittle and or cracking. When the wind blows hard enough, it can lift the tab, and they snap off. We also look at the surface, and if there are areas where the granules have worn off exposing bare areas, we will call it out.

    I hope you get it worked out.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Finally. I don't know how much simpler I can put it. The refrigerator is on a separate circuit. That circuit has NO GFCI outlets on it, and no GFCI breaker on it. Therefore, unless there is some new technology that allows a separate GFCI outlet to "magically" protect another outlet on a separate circuit. I'm standing by my comment that the refrigerator is not protected by a GFCI.
    David,

    "Finally. I don't know how much simpler I can put it." - Followed by entirely new information not provided previously.

    It is not that you "don't know how much simpler I can put it.", it is that you finally provided the additional information, and based on that additional information I think you finally got what I was referring to about the possibility for the receptacle being GFCI protected without being a GFCI receptacle. Glad you finally made that connection and provided that information.

    Is it possible that the inspector, your buyer, you, and all involved in your transaction are talking back and forth based not so much on "incorrect" information but based on "incomplete" information? With "incomplete" information each party is left to fill in the blanks with what they think is meant and/or not meant by what is stated and/or not stated.

    Sometimes, what is not stated is just as important, even more important, than what is stated - our exchange about the GFCI is a good example of "incomplete" information and what was stated versus what was not stated (not stated until your last post).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    If in fact the inspector wrote a report that upon further investigation turns out to be false in reported conditions, that is negligent misrepresentation.

    Unfortunately for the vendor such reports can stigmatize the property for future potential purchasers as the report in the hands of the Realtor or the party which commissioned the report can be passed on to third parties. Word gets around that the house didn't pass the muster, such info can be hard to suppress dependent on what is in the report.

    The work around may be for you the vendor to hire an independent 'qualified' inspector to inspect and report on his findings otherwise known as a pre-listing inspection. At which time you can repair the findings or simply disclose the findings to potential purchasers in the listing 'as is'.

    In my view the inspector if he stated erroneous info should as a first step be reported to his respective association. Try to recoup any losses could be a fool errand since you the vendor would have the onus to prove negligent misrepresentation in tort.


  31. #31

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    "Finally. I don't know how much simpler I can put it." - Followed by entirely new information not provided previously.

    It is not that you "don't know how much simpler I can put it.", it is that you finally provided the additional information, and based on that additional information I think you finally got what I was referring to about the possibility for the receptacle being GFCI protected without being a GFCI receptacle. Glad you finally made that connection and provided that information.

    Is it possible that the inspector, your buyer, you, and all involved in your transaction are talking back and forth based not so much on "incorrect" information but based on "incomplete" information? With "incomplete" information each party is left to fill in the blanks with what they think is meant and/or not meant by what is stated and/or not stated.

    Sometimes, what is not stated is just as important, even more important, than what is stated - our exchange about the GFCI is a good example of "incomplete" information and what was stated versus what was not stated (not stated until your last post).
    I thought I stated that the refrigerator was on a separate circuit. A apologize if I did not make that clear. I was provided a copy of the inspection. I saw with my own eyes the "mistakes" if not lies that were recorded. Not sure if this helps, but he only used line paper & pen to record the items during the inspection. I thought inspectors use either tablets or a printed form to record inspections. At least the two inspectors I paid for did in other real estate transactions.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David,
    Wasn't not going to comment again and you have received some good counsel.

    Hate to see you get your self worked up for no good reason.

    No good roofer is going to offer you a warranted/guaranteed roof that they have no interest in. If they were to I would run not walk away since they are offering nothing that they will stand behind.

    2nd opinion on roof is a great decision. If you decide to proceed with roof replacement or roof over, get at least 4 quotes min. By example, I am working with some one that has had 7 quotes ranging from $13,600 to $39,000 for the same work.

    If your roof is 25 or 30 yrs old then it may last 10 years or only 2, When they start going they will go quickly. Fiberglass shingles do not act like organic based shingle so you do not get the curling and knuckling of the organic shingle. New roofs do help sell a property. So if you leave the present buyers behind you will be in a better position for comparable pricing for the next buyer that will come along with a new roof.

    Again like many have said the HI is not working for you and does not have any responsibility to you with the exception of the Radon mediation. Yet even then you are in a loose loose loose position to get the HI to reimburse you for a mediation that was not needed. Loose time, loose money (litigation) and loose your sanity.

    You mentioned that the buyers lost their house to fire. It is quite possible that they are working with limited funds to qualify for a loan and may going into the sale at $112K with nothing left in reserve. House rich and cash poor. No to markets are the same and it is a supply and demand scenario, pure and simple.

    Selling and buying is based on motivation by the parties involved. You stated a motivation to see a profit and you probably have other motivations involved. The buyers have their own motivations in a purchase. The trick is to use the motivations to your benefit as to gain maximum leverage.

    The US is not a barter or negotiate society so most of the time people get emotional.

    I say again. Forget trying to work with (argue to change) the buyer's HI. Develop a new sales (battle) plan that will benefit you. Detach your emotions from the process. You may make money on the sale or not. We can not figure that out for you, to many variables involved. Know what you can give up and what you can not.

    A little something to think over. The last person that speaks in a negotiation process typically is the one that looses. In sales a salesman will make a closing statement/question. Then will be silent. The buyer accepts and signs or offers an objection. The sales person will overcome that objection and will attempt the close again and be silent. Then again and again and again until the deal is closed. The sales person knows their limitations/constraints in making a deal/sale and will not exceed them.

    Become a salesman and not a home owner.


  33. #33

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If in fact the inspector wrote a report that upon further investigation turns out to be false in reported conditions, that is negligent misrepresentation.

    Unfortunately for the vendor such reports can stigmatize the property for future potential purchasers as the report in the hands of the Realtor or the party which commissioned the report can be passed on to third parties. Word gets around that the house didn't pass the muster, such info can be hard to suppress dependent on what is in the report.

    The work around may be for you the vendor to hire an independent 'qualified' inspector to inspect and report on his findings otherwise known as a pre-listing inspection. At which time you can repair the findings or simply disclose the findings to potential purchasers in the listing 'as is'.

    In my view the inspector if he stated erroneous info should as a first step be reported to his respective association. Try to recoup any losses could be a fool errand since you the vendor would have the onus to prove negligent misrepresentation in tort.
    That's what I was thinking. But even more devious, purposely writing a erroneous report to favor his client(friend) is my original thought. I know proving that would be hard. But given the situation and the history this inspector has with local reality agents, I don't think it's too far fetched. His business rating and complaints on the Better Business Bureau website does not speak well for him either. I would post the company name if I did not think it would get me in trouble, as stated by a previous posting.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    If the inspector wrote in freehand the report then he is not offering a standard of care as provided by that of his local competitors. Hand written reports fail the grade in todays standardized carbonless matrix reports or computer aided reports.

    What association does the inspector belong to?


  35. #35

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    David,
    Wasn't not going to comment again and you have received some good counsel.

    Hate to see you get your self worked up for no good reason.

    No good roofer is going to offer you a warranted/guaranteed roof that they have no interest in. If they were to I would run not walk away since they are offering nothing that they will stand behind.

    2nd opinion on roof is a great decision. If you decide to proceed with roof replacement or roof over, get at least 4 quotes min. By example, I am working with some one that has had 7 quotes ranging from $13,600 to $39,000 for the same work.

    If your roof is 25 or 30 yrs old then it may last 10 years or only 2, When they start going they will go quickly. Fiberglass shingles do not act like organic based shingle so you do not get the curling and knuckling of the organic shingle. New roofs do help sell a property. So if you leave the present buyers behind you will be in a better position for comparable pricing for the next buyer that will come along with a new roof.

    Again like many have said the HI is not working for you and does not have any responsibility to you with the exception of the Radon mediation. Yet even then you are in a loose loose loose position to get the HI to reimburse you for a mediation that was not needed. Loose time, loose money (litigation) and loose your sanity.

    You mentioned that the buyers lost their house to fire. It is quite possible that they are working with limited funds to qualify for a loan and may going into the sale at $112K with nothing left in reserve. House rich and cash poor. No to markets are the same and it is a supply and demand scenario, pure and simple.

    Selling and buying is based on motivation by the parties involved. You stated a motivation to see a profit and you probably have other motivations involved. The buyers have their own motivations in a purchase. The trick is to use the motivations to your benefit as to gain maximum leverage.

    The US is not a barter or negotiate society so most of the time people get emotional.

    I say again. Forget trying to work with (argue to change) the buyer's HI. Develop a new sales (battle) plan that will benefit you. Detach your emotions from the process. You may make money on the sale or not. We can not figure that out for you, to many variables involved. Know what you can give up and what you can not.

    A little something to think over. The last person that speaks in a negotiation process typically is the one that looses. In sales a salesman will make a closing statement/question. Then will be silent. The buyer accepts and signs or offers an objection. The sales person will overcome that objection and will attempt the close again and be silent. Then again and again and again until the deal is closed. The sales person knows their limitations/constraints in making a deal/sale and will not exceed them.

    Become a salesman and not a home owner.
    Excellent advise and very much appreciated. I do have the advantage of not needing to move.
    I have an excellent job and I am not having finance problems. My wife and I just very much dislike our location and need move back down south.


  36. #36

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If the inspector wrote in freehand the report then he is not offering a standard of care as provided by that of his local competitors. Hand written reports fail the grade in todays standardized carbonless matrix reports or computer aided reports.

    What association does the inspector belong to?
    He wrote the notes during the inspection on paper, but the finished report was printed.
    I don't think I should post the association or any identifying info at this time. Maybe later in a private message.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just had a thought. Maybe I watch too much Mike Holmes.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I find it interesting that some of the comments here want to throw the inspector under the bus. We have not heard from him, or seen his report. We are only hearing one side.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Just had a thought. Maybe I watch too much Mike Holmes.
    Maybe, but as long as you keep in mind that his TV show is ... well ... a TV show and should not be taken as anything else.

    My wife (and myself at times) watch to much Law & Order, and, as our attorney daughter reminds us ... that is a TV show and does not depict real life or real trials.

    I watch How It's Made, How They Do That, How Hard Can It Be (not many of those around that I've found) ... but usually just don't watch much TV - too much else to do ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    He wrote the notes during the inspection on paper, but the finished report was printed. I don't think I should post the association or any identifying info at this time. Maybe later in a private message.

    Just had a thought. Maybe I watch too much Mike Holmes.
    Mike Holmes TV show does NOT reflect reality. Watching any of his shows is too much.

    How an inspector chooses to record his notes has no bearing on his competence. I have been on numerous ride-alongs with established inspectors. Some use voice recorders, some photos, some tablets, some paper notes, some take no notes and enter data during the inspection. The method is inconsequential and has no bearing on professionalism or technical competence.

    You are hung up on the wrong stuff. As a seller either you accept the buyers new terms, counter with different terms, or refuse to accept the buyers new terms. The inspector may be the worst in town or the best in town. Doesn't matter. Decide how much you are willing to spend/or offer towards the costs of repairs and make a counter offer. If the repairs don't need to be made, then they will be very cheap to fix. Agree to removing the GFCI protection from the fridge. Zero dollars outta your pocket and the buyer is happy.

    Materials being incorrectly labeled. As already mentioned, it is very easy to accidently click the wrong box in the reporting software. I proofread my reports twice before I send them out. I catch most of my mistakes but stuff slips through occasionally. Stuff happens. Virtually no buyer cares about what the ceiling of a porch is made from. They usually cant even identify it standing next to it. I realize you gave that as an example of the inspectors incompentence. Doesnt matter. You did not select the inspector or pay for his service. Stop whinning about the inspector and figure out how much you are willing to spend to make this deal happen.

    Start deciding how much you are willing to spend on the requested repairs, real or imagined by the buyer. Either you are willing to negoiate or your not. You got to be realistic about your home in your market. Either buyers are clamoring to buy your home or you are lucky to get someone dumb enough to buy your home. Depending on which end of the spectrum and how bad you need to sell, you will then know how much to hold firm to your price or give another grand and be out and on to your new life.

    Lets say your current montly payment is $1000. If it doesnt sell for 2 months, you just lost 2k. If you agree to 1k in repairs and sell now, you are better off. There is a cost to not selling you may have overlooked.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    A point which needs to be addressed and clarified: the refrigerator on GFCI protected circuit (and before anyone gasps and thinks I missed the post where it was pointed out that there is no GFCI protection for the refrigerator - I didn't miss it).

    Contrary to popular belief and old home inspector lore ... there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH a refrigerator being on a GFCI protected circuit.

    Years ago, yeah, but not in the past 20-30 years.

    Years ago the allowable electrical leakage was up to 50 ma - yep, that would trip a GFCI if the leakage (ground-fault) was 4-6 ma or greater (most were less).

    The standard for allowable leakage changed and the maximum allowable leakage/ground-fault dropped to 0.5 ma ... no way should that trip a properly functioning GFCI.

    Now, people's lives are put above allowing poor manufacturing practices. If the refrigerator (or freezer) trips a GFCI, the occupants may well mourn the lost food, but if asked, I'll guess they would rather mourn the lost food instead of mourning the lost family member who died from the ground-fault because there was no GFCI protection.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Jerry, keep this up and his buyers will be asking for a new fridge, too. On a GFCI circuit.

    David, focus on the roof. You have smoke alarms, tub stopper, weepholes. Those are trivial, not significant items. You could file a complaint with his association for errors in reporting, but focus on the sale first.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  42. #42

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Mike Holmes TV show does NOT reflect reality. Watching any of his shows is too much.

    How an inspector chooses to record his notes has no bearing on his competence. I have been on numerous ride-alongs with established inspectors. Some use voice recorders, some photos, some tablets, some paper notes, some take no notes and enter data during the inspection. The method is inconsequential and has no bearing on professionalism or technical competence.

    You are hung up on the wrong stuff. As a seller either you accept the buyers new terms, counter with different terms, or refuse to accept the buyers new terms. The inspector may be the worst in town or the best in town. Doesn't matter. Decide how much you are willing to spend/or offer towards the costs of repairs and make a counter offer. If the repairs don't need to be made, then they will be very cheap to fix. Agree to removing the GFCI protection from the fridge. Zero dollars outta your pocket and the buyer is happy.

    Materials being incorrectly labeled. As already mentioned, it is very easy to accidently click the wrong box in the reporting software. I proofread my reports twice before I send them out. I catch most of my mistakes but stuff slips through occasionally. Stuff happens. Virtually no buyer cares about what the ceiling of a porch is made from. They usually cant even identify it standing next to it. I realize you gave that as an example of the inspectors incompentence. Doesnt matter. You did not select the inspector or pay for his service. Stop whinning about the inspector and figure out how much you are willing to spend to make this deal happen.

    Start deciding how much you are willing to spend on the requested repairs, real or imagined by the buyer. Either you are willing to negoiate or your not. You got to be realistic about your home in your market. Either buyers are clamoring to buy your home or you are lucky to get someone dumb enough to buy your home. Depending on which end of the spectrum and how bad you need to sell, you will then know how much to hold firm to your price or give another grand and be out and on to your new life.

    Lets say your current montly payment is $1000. If it doesnt sell for 2 months, you just lost 2k. If you agree to 1k in repairs and sell now, you are better off. There is a cost to not selling you may have overlooked.
    I understand that I now need to focus on the sale and do what I need to make the sale.
    But I'm not whining, I'm stating the facts that lead me to believe that this particular inspector is either grossly incompetent or fraudulent. The situation and the unbelievable errors lead me towards the fraudulent option.
    I also understand that as human beings, not robots, we all make mistakes. However, as I had pointed out, the mistakes made are outright lies. I cannot prove they are, but when we had the inspector back and showed him some mistakes he failed to correct the report.

    Just to bolster my argument, I'll add some more gems this inspector had in our report.
    1. He stated we have one 3" support post under the I beam. We have two that are not covered in any way. You could walk into either one of them.
    2. He stated we have a fiberglass sink in the basement on a metal base. Our sink is made completely of vinyl. Not a single piece of metal anywhere.
    3. He stated that we have vinyl siding on the face of the house. We have no vinyl siding anywhere. We have aluminum on one section of a kitchen bump-out.
    4. He said there are nail pops throughout the roof. I counted 3.

    You stated that he may have clicked on the wrong box in the software. Well, if he did that would it result in what appears to be custom written sentences in a paragraph form? This is not a report that is written in bullet form or some type of canned statements. These appear to be written out paragraphs describing the condition. I'm not familiar with inspection software, but I suspect that your software does not take selection of multiple choice input and create paragraph form reports. I could be wrong. The reports I've have gotten myself were done in question and answer format. The answer being hand written by the inspector.

    So my main point being, that with all these obvious "mistakes" with basic items. How can his evaluation of the roof NOT be called into question?


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David
    Though you have not mentioned the Inspector by name, or any company or organization he/she may belong to, this is a public forum and I would be extremely careful about using such words as 'fraudulent', 'lying' or derogatory terms alleging misconduct, especially if his identity becomes known - inadvertently or otherwise. You may or may not have a valid case of incompetence but that's a far cry from criminal activity. You obviously have issues with the inspector and report but do not allow your emotions to bring liability upon yourself with defamatory public statements.

    As I said in a previous post, the report is between the buyer and inspector and the inspector has no responsibility to you to amend his report. I understand you feel aggrieved but the buyer may be fully content with the inspector. You may have some legal recourse (extremely doubtful at this point) but making potentially libelous statements is not the way to proceed, in my view.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David,

    I understand your concern, and if I was in your shoes would probably be a little upset about the inspection report as well, based on what you have mentioned. But, since I work in the trade, these items are easy to explain to the buyer as wrong, or fix, and be done with it.

    However, with all that aside, unless I missed something, it sounds like the roof replacement is the issue. Even though the HI may have made many reporting errors it does not rule out being right about the roof. We can do this on the flip side, just because a builder did 99 out of 100 things correct it doesn't mean the 100th item is correct if was done wrong, it's still wrong.

    BTW, on a quick look at the roof photo's I spotted 5 possible nail pops. Yes, it's serviceable, Yes, it can be nursed along, and IMO the HI is not wrong to call it near the end of it's service life, it could be 1 year, it could be 10 more years, it's anyone's guess??? That's what you and the buyer have to determine.

    I'm sure if you call contractors the need for replacement will depend on the need for work by the roofer.

    With roofs it can be a preemptive strike mentality. Replace it now, knowing it's getting old and showing signs of wear. Or, it could be a, nurse it along until it looks real bad, more tar patches than shingles, or, it could be a, wait until it actually leaks and then replace the roof mentality.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Just to let you know... with my software, one mouse click can have several paragraphs added to the report. That is the beauty of inspection software. I have many narratives in my library, and a mouse click on a box that says "reverse polarity", not only added three paragraphs regarding reverse polarity, but also includes a graphic.

    That aside, it really sounds like he is not the best inspector around, and his reporting leaves a lot to be desired. However, I still contend the roof is really the issue you should focus on, and let the little stuff go. You will make yourself crazy by trying to micro analyze the report.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I never ever use the term serviceable. Open to interpretation. My preference is repair, replace, remove, improve, provide, service, clean....


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I never ever use the term serviceable. Open to interpretation.
    Here is an example of "serviceable" - The O-rings which failed on the rocket which launched the Challenger Space Shuttle were "serviceable" ... and had been "working" for many launches ... the only problem with that one launch which the O-rings failed is that the temperature happened to be a bit too cold for the O-rings and, well ... the rest is history.

    Would you want a "serviceable" roof which, under the right conditions - which always tend to happen at the wrong time - to be protecting your house when those right ("wrong") conditions occurred?

    "Serviceable" "is not" something to be proud of or hang your hat on.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  48. #48

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Here is an example of "serviceable" - The O-rings which failed on the rocket which launched the Challenger Space Shuttle were "serviceable" ... and had been "working" for many launches ... the only problem with that one launch which the O-rings failed is that the temperature happened to be a bit too cold for the O-rings and, well ... the rest is history.

    Would you want a "serviceable" roof which, under the right conditions - which always tend to happen at the wrong time - to be protecting your house when those right ("wrong") conditions occurred?

    "Serviceable" "is not" something to be proud of or hang your hat on.
    Well stated.

    I've had 2 additional roofers state that the roof needs replaced. One with an estimate to roof over the existing shingles. One with an estimate to remove and re-shingle. Both surprising higher than I hoped. Wiping out any gain I might make on the sale. So I will most likely have it replaced and reject the buyers offer unless they pay higher(not likely). Then I will wait to put it back on the market and hope for a better offer. I'm not in a position that requires me to take a loss on the house. But the inspector may have been right on the roof, but that's ALL he got right! And that's likely due to what has been stated before. Inspectors are going to be reluctant to let a serviceable roof go unreported. Maybe my time in the Army has caused me to understand the meaning of serviceable to be "mission ready" or in a condition to withstand the rigors of war.


  49. #49

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Here's something else to chew on.
    What is the definition of "fair" in the Hone Inspection business?
    Because this inspector also reported a few items that were brand new as being in fair condition.
    For example, the fire rated door I installed between the garage and finished basement was new, and reported as "fair".
    The new carpeting in the basement was reported as "fair".
    If serviceable is negative, I certainly view fair as negative.
    Would you want brakes that are in fair condition?


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    If what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt you David), and as far as I am concerned the inspector who calls himself an inspector should not be inspecting and has been negligent. He has misrepresented himself and his ability to properly and fairly, objectively inspect your property.


  51. #51

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt you David), and as far as I am concerned the inspector who calls himself an inspector should not be inspecting and has been negligent. He has misrepresented himself and his ability to properly and fairly, objectively inspect your property.
    I agree. I have been looking through the report and tried to find any positive entries. The only thing I can say is that he address right. I wish that would have been wrong like everything else.
    Yesterday I had my Occupancy Permit inspection. My borough requires the inspection when possession of the property changes. The inspection is done by a code inspector with safety as the primary goal. Imagine my surprise when the code inspector completely disagreed with the Home Inspectors report. He too said this inspector had no business performing inspections.
    I am hoping to use the code inspectors report to bolster my claim to the buyer that the issues raised are false. The best part is that the code inspector is not hired by me, it is a requirement that I had no choice but to have. It would have been great if the buyer would have just accepted the code inspectors report. But then again, it would not work in their favor.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Ok, you have gotten several posters to tell you are right. You have a local official tell you are right. Congratulations, you got what you wanted. BUT you are still missing the point. It DOES NOT MATTER whether the report is right or wrong, the inspector good or bad.

    The home sale is a negotiation. The buyer is trying to negotiate. You are so invested in proving the inspection report and inspector are evil you are overlooking the point of all of this, TO SELL YOUR HOUSE.

    Take a step back, take a deep breath, and let it out. Stop thrashing around about the evil inspector and his incompetence. Forget it. Really, it is just a distraction. Pick the price at which you are willing to sell. Make a counter offer to the buyer. Either they accept your offer and you are free to start your new life. Or they dont accept your offer and you have to find another buyer with another inspector and go through all this agravation all over again.

    Stop obsessing about the inspector and his report. Focus on choosing a price you can live with.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  53. #53

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I got an estimate to replace the roof with real nice Owens Corning Duration shingles for $7200.
    A good price with an A+ rated BBB roofer. We offered the buyers that we would pay $3700 and they pay $3500 and they can choose the color of the shingles. They flat out refused to pay ANY portion of the roof. We said pound-salt. So we are going to get the new roof re-list and hope for a more reasonable buyer.

    Thank you all for your wise advise and reading, what I'm sure was sometimes tedious, posts.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Thanks for sharing, David.
    Personally I think the inspector got his reports mixed up and sent you the wrong one, or maybe his template was corrupted with info from another house. His clients should be complaining for misinformation in the report.
    Maybe he has corrected his errors. If he did, he is supposed to keep that info confidential as a rule, so you wouldn't know.

    You are correct to stick close to your price. You have already come way down from your target price. They could be getting a cheap new roof. They would have no roof worries for 25 to 30 years for $3500, that is a steal.

    Idea - Offer them $3500 off the purchase price. They can find their own roofer, or wait a few years for the roof and buy a Smart TV now.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-21-2014 at 11:19 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  55. #55
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    David,

    So now you get a new roof, and this will aid in a positive selling feature for the next party which comes along.


  56. #56
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    David,

    So now you get a new roof, and this will aid in a positive selling feature for the next party which comes along.
    And the new roof may easily justify an increase in sales price of $3,700 - only you know the condition of your house, the market around your house, and what a new roof adds to the sales price ... typically not always the full price of the new roof, but probably at least 50% or more of the price of the new roof (unless one were to install an unusual roof, such as copper metal shingles, in which case it would take a specific buyer to recognize the values of such a roof and there are very few of those buyers).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  57. #57

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Thanks for sharing, David.
    Personally I think the inspector got his reports mixed up and sent you the wrong one, or maybe his template was corrupted with info from another house. His clients should be complaining for misinformation in the report.
    Maybe he has corrected his errors. If he did, he is supposed to keep that info confidential as a rule, so you wouldn't know.

    You are correct to stick close to your price. You have already come way down from your target price. They could be getting a cheap new roof. They would have no roof worries for 25 to 30 years for $3500, that is a steal.

    Idea - Offer them $3500 off the purchase price. They can find their own roofer, or wait a few years for the roof and buy a Smart TV now.
    I really don't think he mixed up the reports. There were plenty of details that were correct in the report. Plus it included pictures of our house and pictures of the "faults". I understand as fellow inspectors you'd want to give him more credit, but it's just too many mistakes that a first time home-owner probably would have caught.

    I'm done with these buyers. They demanded that we pay all the costs of a new roof, and that we MUST remove the old shingles before putting new shingles on, so no roof-over. Or they wanted 10K off the price. I think they hoped we would take off the 10K and they would likely use the savings to buy new furniture to replace what they lost in the fire. We had told them we would leave some of our old furniture for them, to help out. So they got greedy and it's their loss now. Hope they have fun finding a house in this neighborhood that is move in ready and already passed the Borough Occupancy inspection. Because what I've seen on-line and in person..... it ain't out there in this price range. They were already looking for 2 months before seeing ours.
    The best house that is even close to what we are offering is 129K and needed a lot of updating. Ours has a new kitchen, bathroom, new landscape and 80% finished basement.


  58. #58

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    I thought I'd update this thread since so many took time to reply and provide quality advice.

    I sold the home in PA and relocated to Florida. I ended up replacing the roof, and having another buyer make a reasonable offer. His inspector was 100% better than the first inspector. I was with him during the inspection and he could not believe what the first inspector wrote up, until I showed him the report. I did end up replacing the roof at a price of $9,000 and after paying all sales fees had $12,000 left. So I made $3,000 profit. Not much, but better than a lot of folks that end up in foreclosure or bankruptcy.
    I used a Home Inspector in Florida for my new home, and they were extremely professional. They were affordable, on time, knowledgeable, and courteous. My new home has a concrete tile roof and I chose this inspection company for their experience with tiled roofs.

    I would like to mention them by name, but will leave it out until otherwise asked.


  59. #59
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    I would like to mention them by name, but will leave it out until otherwise asked.
    David,

    Thank you for the update.

    No name is necessary, but the location in Florida would be nice - being as Florida is a rather large state as regards north/south distance.

    North Florida (the Panhandle across to Jacksonville)
    North Central Florida (generally anywhere in the Lake City/Gainesville/Ocala area)
    West Central Florida (Tampa/St Pete, to the north some, to the south to Sarasota/Bradenton)
    Central Florida (generally anywhere around Orlando)
    East Central Florida (generally Daytona/Melbourne area, maybe even down to Vero Beach/Ft Pierce - they are neither Central Florida nor South Florida, called the Treasure Coast)
    South Florida (east of the Everglades - Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach counties)
    Southwest Florida (generally Naples/Ft Meyers/Port Charlotte/Venice area)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  60. #60

    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Central Florida. Gulf Coast side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    Thank you for the update.

    No name is necessary, but the location in Florida would be nice - being as Florida is a rather large state as regards north/south distance.

    North Florida (the Panhandle across to Jacksonville)
    North Central Florida (generally anywhere in the Lake City/Gainesville/Ocala area)
    West Central Florida (Tampa/St Pete, to the north some, to the south to Sarasota/Bradenton)
    Central Florida (generally anywhere around Orlando)
    East Central Florida (generally Daytona/Melbourne area, maybe even down to Vero Beach/Ft Pierce - they are neither Central Florida nor South Florida, called the Treasure Coast)
    South Florida (east of the Everglades - Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach counties)
    Southwest Florida (generally Naples/Ft Meyers/Port Charlotte/Venice area)



  61. #61
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    Default Re: Legal Action against fraudulent Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crawford View Post
    Central Florida. Gulf Coast side.
    Thank you.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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