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using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: pbarra1
Date: February 11, 2007 05:46PM
I am starting a file to go after builder to complete some outstanding issues at our new house. I sent a fax indicating that I would give them 10 more days to begin repairs or communicate a timetable to me. As a courtesy, I asked that they sign, date and return fax the fax to me. They never did that. I want to use my trustfax.com account record of "fax received" as proof that they received said fax if we end up in court or before arbitrator. I have confirmed with trustfax that a fax that is indicated as "received" was actually received and not just sent. The construction trailer that they work out of does not have a mailbox and in the new home documents they request that all punch list items be sent to fax number. Will the confirmed received fax satisfy a judge or arbitrator?
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 11, 2007 05:52PM
for small claims court, probably. if it goes to a full blown court case, probably not.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 11, 2007 05:55PM
Quote

I am starting a file to go after builder to complete some outstanding issues at our new house. I sent a fax indicating that I would give them 10 more days to begin repairs or communicate a timetable to me. As a courtesy, I asked that they sign, date and return fax the fax to me. They never did that.

That's why you use the US Mail, certified delivery, return receipt requested, with signature.

With that signed card in hand, you have a chain of evidence for the courts. Yes, someone at THAT address signed his name and received the mail. The courts will then be very interested in what that person then did with said mail.

You may come up with your trustfax.com account record, and that's fine--but you could have typed that up in an evening. What real proof is it that the fax was received? Let's assume that trusfax.com is trustworthy--what's to say the phone network didn't get all fouled up and their fax sender didn't get connected, accidentally, to one of the billions of other fax machines out there on another line?

US Mail is the only way to go. Period. You might use the fax thing up to a certain point, but past that point, certified delivery with return receipt is the only way.



Quote

The construction trailer that they work out of does not have a mailbox and in the new home documents they request that all punch list items be sent to fax number.

And now you know why. They don't WANT the certified mail coming to them. They don't WANT a trail on record.

So right now, their answer is, "We never got that." It's your word against theirs, and that's a bad situation to be in.



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In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: GGD
Date: February 11, 2007 05:58PM
They must have some sort of legal mailing address, how do you send them money? They must have listed something on their business license. Send them certified mail return receipt.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: pbarra1
Date: February 11, 2007 05:59PM
I will have to find an address for them - that was one of the problems. How does everyone feel about me sending cert mail to the sales office?
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 11, 2007 06:10PM
dude, in all of this deal there's someone who takes your money. THAT person is the person you have your beef with. At this point you don't care what monkeys he hires to slap up plywood and fsck up the inside of your house with their infamous "finish" carpentry.

You don't have a contract with some random guys in some trailer somewhere. I don't care if someone DID tell you to deal directly with them--the fact is, this has gone WAY past that. You're looking to be made whole--and that can only be done by the people you made a contract with, the other party who SIGNED that contract. You DO have a written contract, right? You HAVE read it, right?

And on that contract is the other guy's street address, right? Or do you frequently deal with people named "Roc" who are located at "some street corner, varies from day to day"?

Fax, email--it's time for the younger generation to get off their asses and work for what they deserve. In this case, you deserve to be made whole. But they won't just GIVE it to you because you deserve it; they've put you in the position of having to GO TAKE IT FROM THEM. It's lawfully yours. So what if you have to follow some processes and pay attention and track things? Such is life. You have to work for it, now work for it.

I can't believe you don't have a file three feet thick regarding every bit of this. You should know every detail about the people you signed a multi-hundred-thousand dollar deal with, ESPECIALLY their freaking ADDRESS.



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In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: pbarra1
Date: February 11, 2007 06:28PM
Elmo3

I understand what u r saying. The builder in charge of the development does work in said trailer but yes he answers to a larger corporation that I signed the papers with. I have their contact info. I was hoping to resolve this amicably between us but I have wanted to exhaust all efforts before going to the next level. I have had to go after other companies before and they have all paid in the end. I was referred to as by one as a "quiet storm that takes you by suprize with devasting results."

We did spend a half a million dollars and 6 months is more than patient so I will go to post office tomorrow and send the parent company a copy of all correspondance and current punch list with my expectations and timetable as to the completion of said punch list.

Nice touch with "their infamous "finish" carpentry." - now that made me laugh.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 11, 2007 06:36PM
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I was hoping to resolve this amicably

Great idea. And you tried. Unfortunately, they decided not to take you up on that offer. Now you have to get firm (and lawyer up, no doubt) and the contractor in the trailer has to answer to the larger corporation.



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Nice touch with "their infamous "finish" carpentry." - now that made me laugh.

Sometimes people say they laugh because their only other option would be to cry. I hope that's not your case, with a half million dollar transaction like this. I'd hate to think you got the same "finish" carpentry that they give to the guy buying a $130,000 house.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 11, 2007 06:46PM
trust me, when corporate gets involved, the guys in the field will know about it in seconds, and the mad scramble will quickly ensue.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: pbarra1
Date: February 11, 2007 06:56PM
We think the house is great, I used to work as a finish carpenter and their is much to like about the house but some of the subs (especially cabinet installers) did not complete the job (filling joints, fixing scratches, adjusting drawers and doors, etc). For the price, I expect everything do be right (within reason). I would recommend the development to a friend but I would volunteer that they should do the walk-thru 30 days or so before closing and not the same day which is their practice here. We felt comfortable with that as they still have a 100 or so houses to build here and we could always walk around with our "Don't buy here" t-shirts.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: h'
Date: February 11, 2007 07:11PM
I've got a certified letter that bounced around the entire postal system and came back to me that says certified mail is a waste of time. All they have to do is refuse it.
It really depends on the whim of the judge, but if you can produce records and reasonable proof that the faxes were sent, then you should be OK.
The lawyer wouldn't hurt either. Would probably set you back maybe $500 but would be very likely to get the job sewn up.
I wat to live in whatever dream world Racer X lives in, where you can contact "corporate" about something and have it make the slightest difference.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 11, 2007 07:21PM
Quote

I've got a certified letter that bounced around the entire postal system and came back to me that says certified mail is a waste of time. All they have to do is refuse it.

Well, yeah. Then you have another piece of knowledge that you didn't have before. Either they got it, or they actively refused to take it. Either way, the ball is in their court to answer: either "what did you do with the information, why did you ignore what Mr. Plaintiff wrote" or "why did you actively refuse to accept the letter".

Either choice is better than "well, I sent them a fax, but got no response" and them saying "we never got no fax".



Quote

I wat to live in whatever dream world Racer X lives in, where you can contact "corporate" about something and have it make the slightest difference.

I contracted with a firm to do siding, a roof, and a few replacement windows. The roofers and the window guy were a homeowner's dream. The siding guys were the exact opposite. At the end, they wanted me to pay (it was the end of the month..gee...). I was getting together a punch list and told the siding guys, when they said they were finished and wanted a check, that I wasn't going to give them a check, that I would get back to them. Two days later I got a call from the contractor's collections guy; he assumed I was one of those jokers who simply doesn't pay.

I said, "I'll have you my punch list by 10am tomorrow, don't you worry." I had not only a punch list, but also a detailed report from another local contractor about how badly the job was done, complete with pictures.

Suddenly their tune changed, and they had everyone up here right away to address things. Yes, they did their best to pooh-pooh my guy's report, about how he doesn't know what he's talking about. We both knew he was lying his ass of but trying to save face and get paid. But the siding guys took care of the issues right then and there, and I gave them a check right then and there.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 11, 2007 08:12PM
For a small fee (under $50) you should be able to get a certified process server to "post" a copy of your letter of demand at the construction trailer or elsewhere. The process server (at least in California) is granted (by statute) a presumption of truth in any subsequent legal proceeding.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: h'
Date: February 11, 2007 10:27PM
Quote
elmo3
Quote

I've got a certified letter that bounced around the entire postal system and came back to me that says certified mail is a waste of time. All they have to do is refuse it.

Well, yeah. Then you have another piece of knowledge that you didn't have before. Either they got it, or they actively refused to take it. Either way, the ball is in their court to answer: either "what did you do with the information, why did you ignore what Mr. Plaintiff wrote" or "why did you actively refuse to accept the letter".

Either choice is better than "well, I sent them a fax, but got no response" and them saying "we never got no fax".

It took me months to get it back, and it was not actively refused, but the carrier either didn't catch the tenant at home or the tenant didn't answer the door (he does that).
Waste of time and money, and much less useful than sending a fax.
Best possible scenario is for your lawyer to send these faxes, and keep records.



I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 12, 2007 05:57AM
Quote

Waste of time and money, and much less useful than sending a fax.
Best possible scenario is for your lawyer to send these faxes, and keep records.

I wouldn't say less useful than sending a fax; the mail process stands a much better chance of working. Your situation was isolated.

It costs a bunch of money to have a lawyer send those faxes.

Cheaper and easier, and generally effective, just to use the mail route initially--especially if you're dealing with a large corporation, like pbarra1 is. Sounds like you were dealing with an individual tenant who wanted not to pay you rent. In that case, you have specific legal remedies available under tenant/landlord law.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: michaelb
Date: February 12, 2007 10:01AM
I get the impression that no one on this thread is a lawyer. I don't think this is best or even a good place to get legal advice. But I am struggling to think of a meaningful difference between faxing your demand and mailing, or how that would make a difference in court. I don't think the difference relates to ultimate admissibility at trial; at this stage the key is what is more likely to get noticed and get action. I usually think of a fax as more intimidating then a letter, but that may vary by situation, particularly here if they are getting tons of faxes and few letters.

What are you going to do 10 days from now, if they don't comply? That is the key next question. At that point, I hope you consult with a lawyer.
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Re: using confirmed received fax as proof of receipt
Posted by: pbarra1
Date: February 12, 2007 12:53PM
At the closing table, their lawyer said we could contact her if they were slow to complete punch list items. Others in the development have done just that and were quickly serviced. Like I said earlier, I was trying to resolve amicably before doing the lawyer thing. A condition in the sales contract is forfeiture of a jury trial and binding arbitration to resolve builder issues. So far, no one has needed to go to that stage. But if necessary, I will be ready to do so.
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