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Contractually bound?

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by stangtime, Jun 26, 2011.

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  1. stangtime

    stangtime Senior Member

    3
    Jul 19, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Hello friends. I have been working on some reports for an attorney.

    Before I started on these reports I sent a letter outlining my time schedule and fee.

    A month later I got a letter from the lawyer saying to go do the reports. He sent me a 50% deposit.

    Matters outside of my full control have come up in the month between when I sent the letter with my terms and the attorney's letter to go ahead.

    At the present time, based on family matters, other client relationships, and summer scheduling, I will clearly not be able to meet the deadlines in the agreement letter.

    Can I return the attorney's 50% deposit and walk away? I have submitted no reports to him at this time, although I have been trying to work on the reports in the meantime - very unsuccessfully. I have inspected the properties. Am I contractually bound at this point?

    At this point I will sacrifice the two or three full days I've spent on this and return his full 50% deposit. When I sent my letter of delivery time and fee I had the time. A month later when he told me to go ahead, I did not.

    Thank you for any thoughts.
    Dan
     
  2. TEL2002

    TEL2002 Elite Member

    2
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Louisiana
    Perhaps a nice letter explaining that during the 30 day wait period, other things arose that made meeting the original deadline impossible. You could complete the reports by xxxxxxx. If this is not workable for the attorney you would understand and will gladly refund the entire deposit.

    Let the client decide.
     
  3. stangtime

    stangtime Senior Member

    3
    Jul 19, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Good suggestion.

    Dan
     
  4. JamesRockford

    JamesRockford Senior Member

    0
    Oct 22, 2010
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Just pick up the phone and call him and explain your situation.
     
  5. Mike Garrett RAA

    Mike Garrett RAA Elite Member

    9
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Colorado
    First see if an extension of time is the solution, if so...complete the assignments. If not, offer to refund the deposit and ask if you could bill for the time already spent on the assignments.

    Don't wait, call tomorrow.
     
  6. JamesRockford

    JamesRockford Senior Member

    0
    Oct 22, 2010
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    :laugh:...........
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  7. Lee in L.A.

    Lee in L.A. Elite Member

    38
    Jan 24, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Make the call and see where you go from there. If they farted around for a month already, a later time to finish the jobs may not be an issue. Does anything happen fast in court? "Legal action" seems a bit of an oxymoron at times.
     
  8. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    62
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Agree with Lee. Make the call. It's likely they'll give you more time if you need it. If they can't they'll appreciate the heads up and appreciate your offer of returning the deposit. They may even offer to let you keep all or some of it. It's not as if it's their money.

    Law firms don't think the same way lenders and AMCs think. They'd rather work with you than change horses in mid-stream.
     
  9. JTip

    JTip Senior Member

    41
    Oct 12, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    We are all human and shuff happens.

    A truthful conversation will benefit you in the long run (sounds like a fortune cookie).

    An attorney is a great client to have, best not to burn that bridge.
     
  10. stangtime

    stangtime Senior Member

    3
    Jul 19, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Thanks everyone I do appreciate the suggestions. This lawyer is a very busy guy. I wrote a friendly email explaining my current status and sent that to him first thing this morning. It is really up to him now. I have a CG friend that has some time right now who would probably accept the job if offered. I mentioned that in the letter as well.

    Thank you all again.

    Dan
     
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