American Building Contractors (ABC) has been flooded with questions from South West Florida homeowners wondering what to do with their damaged roof, whether to repair or replace it, and the entire insurance restoration process. Here are answers to two of the most frequently asked questions.
What if I have already paid a contractor and they’re not performing as promised?
Below is an excerpt from Florida State Statute 489.126 that may help homeowners who are stuck in an over-promised, under-delivered scenario.
“A contractor who receives, as initial payment, money totaling more than 10% of the contract price for repair, restoration, improvement or construction to residential real property must:
(a) Apply for permits necessary to do work within 30 days after the date payment is made, except where the work does not require a permit under the applicable codes and ordinances, and
(b) Start the work within 90 days after the date all necessary permits for work, if any, are issued, unless the person who made the payment agreed, in writing, to a longer period to apply for the necessary permits or start the work or to longer periods for both.
Advice: Ask your contractor for evidence a permit application has been submitted within 30 days after the date payment was made. In the event they are unable to provide evidence, you have statutory rights to cancel your contract and demand a full refund.
Why was my mortgage company named as a Co-Payee on my Insurance Proceeds Check? What do I do now?
First, this is perfectly normal. Just like you, your mortgage company has a financial interest in your home. As a listed lien holder on your insurance policy they wish to protect their interest by ensuring the home is restored back to its ‘pre-damage’ value.
Call your mortgage company and request to speak with the Loss Draft or Insurance Claim Department. Be sure to have the following documents available should they have questions: Statement of Loss, the insurance check and your contractor’s contact information (if you have selected one).
How the mortgage company decides to proceed may depend on the amount of insured loss, the amount of the check and/or the status of the loan.
A common scenario for homeowners is the mortgage company will require the money be held in escrow while the work is being completed.
What does this mean?
- They will request you send the check endorsed by you for them to deposit in their account.
- Payments will likely be disbursed in stages, possibly naming you and the contractor as a co-payee on the checks they issue.
- More paperwork for you and your contractor.
- Potentially another ‘final’ inspection by the mortgage company.
The hassles are real, but streamlining the process and being aware of what to expect will help.
- Maintain consistent contact with the mortgage company. Track when and who you spoke to each time.
- Update the mortgage company immediately with progress. Ask your contractor to keep you updated with every milestone.
- Ask the mortgage company to clearly identify what paperwork is required for disbursement of funds and send it as soon as possible.
- Send all correspondence via traceable services like USPS, UPS & FedEx.
If you have questions or concerns about how to efficiently and effectively move through the insurance restoration process, call American Building Contractors Customer Support Center 7 days a week to speak with an expert at 239.334.6069.