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How do you come to terms with being screwed out of £60,000?!!

(256 Posts)
greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:06:05

I have posted about this before under a different user name - just in case anyone recognises the story - things have progressed further now though.

I am genuinely looking for any wise words that might help me see this whole situation in a more positive light or just help me navigate a way forward.

We had an extension built earlier this year - and I know that to own a house and be doing an extension already makes me someone who has been incredibly lucky in the general lottery of life.

We borrowed 50K from the bank which was the max we could (on top of our mortgage) according to our salaries so there is no possibility of borrowing more for a long time.

Throughout the build the relationship with the builder broke down completely as he got furious with us for ever questioning or complaining about anything. At the end of of the build he sent us a final invoice but we sent back a snagging list and also the requirement for the final building control inspection (having found out he had not organised any of the interval inspections with building control in spite of telling us he had both verbally and it was in his contract to do so).

He went mad at us and started making threats if we don't pay him all the money and has carried out some of these threats including contacting my place of work and telling them I am mentally unstable and have post natal depression and am aggressive and volatile (our second child was born prematurely during the build and we also have a just turned 2 year old), he contacted social services and told them the same, that we were a risk to our children and my husband is abusive. He contacted the GMC and told them I was not safe to see patients (I am a doctor). He has threatened to contact my husband employers with similar and also my Dad's. He has threatened to send bailiffs round. He has told us he wants us to lose everything including our home. Just for the record there is absolutely no basis to any of his assertions about our character.

It was hell. Eventually we got the police involved and the harassment side of things has now stopped. Nothing has come of any of his accusations as they are all baseless but it was a terrifying time - never knowing what his next move might be.

Now he has backed off but cut a long story short it turns out he did a terrible job of the build - to the extent that it will have to be knocked down and re-built. No part of it complies with building regs not least the foundations are not deep enough. He told us he was getting building control in but he wasn't. Quotes for the re-build are coming in at £60,000 plus but we won't be able to afford to this for a long time - this means we are tied to the house and the area until we can which was not our plan.

I know we will eventually cobble the money together through a few years of hard saving and contributions from family and we are incredibly lucky to be in the position to do that. But I can't get my head round all the other things we could have done with that money - not least for our children. I can't believe how hard he went after us - and me in particular - having recently given birth - and all along he had completely screwed the whole thing up. We will have to change the way we live for the next few years to save the money.

The reason I am posting today is because we finally found out for sure there is no point in pursuing him for the money - he is personally liable but doesn't seem to have any assets - so we would win in court but never actually get the money.

Can anyone help me frame this in a more positive light? I know I am so fortunate in SO many ways - I just need to get my head around this so I can move on. Anyone got any stories of having been though similar and come out the other side?

IAmBannedAgainTheBastards Wed 21-Aug-19 20:12:35

What a shitty situation. How did you find him.? Does he claim to be in FMB or anything similar
As a Dr, I would think you were a member of a union or an advocate group

Cherrysoup Wed 21-Aug-19 20:14:17

I presume you’ve done small claims/sued him? This is appalling. Have you been able to press charges re the harassment? This terrifies me, embarking on a new kitchen as we speak!

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:14:23

Thanks. A local recommendation... but now I suspect it was bogus. My union wouldn't help with this as not work related.

Passthecherrycoke Wed 21-Aug-19 20:15:09

Jesus that is HORRENDOUS. Honestly I would be raging for years. I think only time can help the anger fade. Don’t feel guilty for having a house and a mortgage - you have been very unlucky. You poor things

Passthecherrycoke Wed 21-Aug-19 20:16:10

There isn’t much point suing him. It would
Cost OP a fortune and as she says, she would have no way to recover the money

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:16:25

@Cherrysoup - I know! Everything that could have gone wrong has. It would be county court not small claims as over 10K but as he doesn't appear to have any assets we wouldn't just spend a lot of money getting the judgement - which would undoubtedly be in our favour - but would be unlikely to ever see the actual cash.

RubyRubyRubyRubyAaaaah Wed 21-Aug-19 20:17:33

No real advice but poor you, that sounds horrific.
Can you (fantasise) about getting watchdog on to him? I would not actually do it in case he starts up again.

goose1964 Wed 21-Aug-19 20:18:00

Trading standards and small claims court. He's a bully and they tend to back down if someone stands up to them.

TwinsWhatAreTheOdds Wed 21-Aug-19 20:18:47

We got ripped off by £40,000 in a building project by a family member, someone we trusted completely. In our case, like yours, a lot of work needed redoing. Until the work was redone we didn’t know that parts were actually dangerous and our children could easily have been killed by their bedroom door.
Having the repair work done quickly really helped us put it behind us. Is there any way you can e.g. add it to the mortgage? Are there no legal avenues you can pursue against him?
Our repair work was completed in December and I would say that by March we’d stopped dwelling on it so much.
It also helped that based on house prices we won’t lose out in the end.

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:20:25

I have fantasised about watchdog too (!) but don't want to poke the bear. Which infuriates me further because his bullying tactics have worked - but I have my family to think about. Trading standards might be an option... Need to look into it - what can they actually do though?

Passthecherrycoke Wed 21-Aug-19 20:21:08

@goose1964 it’s not a small claim

The unfortunate thing is that one man band builders can get away with a lot. There isn’t any remedy to someone who hides their assets.

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:21:59

Thanks twins - its good to hear you were able to move on after a similarly big loss. Really appreciate hearing that.

Passthecherrycoke Wed 21-Aug-19 20:22:10

Trading standards can’t do anything OP. He’ll be back under a different company name the next day, or building for someone else.

Juanmorebeer Wed 21-Aug-19 20:23:22

I'm so sorry for you. This is a really shit thing to happen. Does he not have any kind of personal liability insurance or anything? A work vehicle as an asset? Nothing at all?

Dancingbea Wed 21-Aug-19 20:24:06

Hi, I am so sorry for what you’be been through. The lovely mum of s friend of mime just got conned out of £140k by fraudulent builders, and like you there is little point going to claims as there are no assets to go after. You have your health, your kids, your family - corny as that sounds. It’s a lot of money but it’s not a life changing amount for you. You have to draw a line under it and move on. Strength to you.

Windydaysuponus Wed 21-Aug-19 20:25:35

Find a pic. Print off 1000's of copies and post them everywhere.
In the cover of darkness wearing a hoody!
What an absolute bastard.....
Would contact a magazine or newspaper....

SouthChinaSea234 Wed 21-Aug-19 20:25:38

I would still go for the CCJ because

a. it will prevent him setting up another company and doing this to someone else.
b. you do not know all the ins and outs of his finances. He may have an insurance policy to cover this kind of eventuality or he may come into money at some stage - eg an inheritance, life insurance policy.
c. he should not get away with this and a victory in court would make you feel that some kind of justice had been done.

I am sorry that this happened to you. No consolation to you at this stage but I believe there are insurance policies you can take out when commissioning significant building works on a property.

Didiusfalco Wed 21-Aug-19 20:25:40

God, that sounds completely traumatic. What an absolute turd of a human being. I think I would want to ensure that he was not able to rip off and harass anyone else, but how you would best go about that I’m not sure?

BookwormMe2 Wed 21-Aug-19 20:26:35

Christ, that is awful, OP. If you don't want to sue, you should at the very least report him to trading standards so he can't do this to anyone else.

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:28:46

I don't know how we would find out if he has any other assets - we know he doesn't own the house he lives in - we have found out he has at leat one other unpaid CCJ against him. He bragged about owning a fleet of houses but he was full of shit...

OrangeSwoosh Wed 21-Aug-19 20:29:24

@greatbritishknee if he is ripping people off like he did you, he has assets. Even if he doesn't, could any crimini charges be brought against him?

SockMachine Wed 21-Aug-19 20:29:43

He should have professional indemnity insurance or something.

Was he part of any kind of professional body or scheme?

Dreadful experience, I am so sorry.

greatbritishknee Wed 21-Aug-19 20:31:02

Thank you all for your kind words. Truly honestly it is really helping. I was a bit worried I might get torn to shreds for being so clueless as to allow this to happen!

Azeema Wed 21-Aug-19 20:31:46

Could try GoFundMe?
I have had this. Conman took £28k thought I buy share in flat. But it was fake. Money gone!

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