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mechanic legal issues


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Mike Checkman
Novice

Mar 25, 2014, 11:07 AM

Post #1 of 12 (1173 views)
mechanic legal issues Sign In

I have a mechanic suing me for not making regular payments to him for work completed on my crappy car. I told him upfront to his face what I wanted done and if it cost more than $300 I would be upset. I wanted him to do a front end alignment and put a set of tires I gave him for the front. 2 weeks later my wife brings the car back with a $900 bill. he replaced the fuel tank with a junk yard fuel tank saying there was a hole in it, but never put a new seal around the fuel pump so fuel pours out of it. he replaced the brakelines, and swapped the front tires for a set he found that he said was in better shape than mine. I have been paying him very little over as long a period as possible in $20 increments that I have been sending certified mail just to have a record of him receiving them. now he has threatened to take me to court and told me all I have paid him has gone to interest. by the way I at no time received an estimate for the work or signed anything. your thoughts. help!
I have worked with many reputable mechanics and had no issues until I took family advise and took my car to him. he is my sister in laws fiancé. Never deal with family!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 25, 2014, 12:10 PM

Post #2 of 12 (1160 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

You may have had a case in the beginning if you didn't authorize the work but that option is long gone now. The fact that you paid some payments shows you agreed to the bill and you now owe him the money. He has every right to sue you if he followed the law with his invoices.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Mike Checkman
Novice

Mar 25, 2014, 12:14 PM

Post #3 of 12 (1156 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

Thanks for the reply Hammer Time,although it sounds like I am screwed. What does the law require him to do concerning invoices?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 25, 2014, 12:47 PM

Post #4 of 12 (1154 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

That's different in every state.
Did you sign the invoice?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Mike Checkman
Novice

Mar 25, 2014, 12:52 PM

Post #5 of 12 (1150 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

I never signed anything. The bill or invoice was sent to us as a picture text message. very blurry.I saw the bill then flipped when my wife told me she had already sent him money.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 25, 2014, 1:04 PM

Post #6 of 12 (1148 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

You need to check the laws in your state concerning authorization and estimates. If your wife didn't sign anything either, you may have an argument against him.

I'm in Florida and you can't go over $100 without written or oral approval and the customer pre-authorizes any verbal OKs that may come later.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 25, 2014, 1:06 PM

Post #7 of 12 (1147 views)
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Yuk - this isn't a legal site but this mess is just that, a mess. No way I can say state to state what rules seal what but from biz law, 101 (sucky course BTW) in college if you started to pay you admitted owing the bucks by doing so.


I'm not a legal beagle and anything I might say is just for amusement purposes only is my disclaimer.


Can't you just come to some reasonable agreement with this mess? Hope so,


T



Mike Checkman
Novice

Mar 25, 2014, 1:31 PM

Post #8 of 12 (1140 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

Thanks for the advise guys. I will do more research on the laws here. If all else fails I will try to discuss things with him but my sister in law is leaving him and I believe this may just be a way to take another stab at her. Thanks again fellas.


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 12:20 AM

Post #9 of 12 (1120 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

At the least, he is not a bank and you did not sign anything, so he cannot hold you to an agreement which accrues interest without you signing the original agreement.

I doubt he has anything to take you to court over. I bet he did the work as cash and has no proof on paper. Like you said, you got a blurry picture message or an invoice. A professional shop gives you a written copy of one.

Don't send him anything more. Then the ball is in his court. I would bet he doesn't even bother to fire a case. Even if he does, it is just in small claims court. Keep all messages and calls from him archived, and when you don't hear back from him be glad he is gone.


carjunky
Enthusiast

Apr 11, 2014, 9:43 PM

Post #10 of 12 (1083 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

Hi Mike,

Let me get this right:

1) You told him "You would be upset if it was over $300. But he billed you $900."
2) You wanted him to do a front end alignment and put a set of tires You gave him for the front.
3) But he decided to replace a fuel tank with a used Fuel tank. Which he didn't seal properly. And he found better worn tires to put on the car?

My Questions for you, Did you get a receipt from him for the used fuel tank he purchased?
And what did he do with your tires?

From my experience most mechanics, will get you to sign an approval for work over a certain amount, otherwise they may have to "Eat the Bill"
For example you say its a crappy car. But it may be worth repairing at $300, but not anything over $500 (may have been cheaper to but that $900 and scrapping your car into a better used car)

As for him suing you, what you need to do is look into your states law, or tell us what state you are in and we may be able to find out information.

States make it very easy to sue people, and in some cases its like $22 bucks to file a complaint. You may be better off waiting for the court date.

1) Bring your phone with the image on it,
2) Write down your talking points. (Such as no written agreement to the repairs, he used other tires, did unauthorized repairs)
3) Find out what your car is worth. try kelly blue book, or even get a list of similar cars for sale in similar condition.
To show why would you put $900 into a car worth less or about that.

As for your wife making a payment, many people make payments in good faith to find out later they have been mis-billed or defrauded. One thing comes to mind is their is a system in place for people to bill you via your phone bill, so a company calls places mostly business to offer computer support, or "Yellow-book listings" and then bill you on your phone bill via a 3rd party billing service. Which gets hidden a phone bill. I had this happen and once i called the phone company they instantly refunded me for over 6 months.

We are not lawyers and we do suggest that you at least talk to a lawyer in your area that knows the laws, but most people threaten with lawsuits because it scares people, (which is why I apploud Texas and their policy loser pays to limit crazy suits.)

But I think you have been taken for a ride, and who knows he may be liable for the leaking gas-tank.


Mike Checkman
Novice

Apr 14, 2014, 5:00 AM

Post #11 of 12 (1063 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In

thank you for your input. I live in Maryland and the garage is in Pennsylvania.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 14, 2014, 6:01 AM

Post #12 of 12 (1062 views)
Re: mechanic legal issues Sign In


Quote
I live in Maryland and the garage is in Pennsylvania.


That means you would be governed by Pennsylvania law



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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