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How to Handle Being Charged for Damage Your Company Did Not Cause

Fellow Foreclosure Cleanup Business Owners,

Questions are coming in from colleagues that I think you can all benefit from. I've posted one below, paraphrasing a bit so as not to expose the foreclosure cleanup company asking the question. I will send others periodically. (Don't forget to peek at the Golden Nuggets Box below prepared exclusively for you as a Premium Newsletter Subscriber --  invaluable additional info to guide you.)

How to Handle Being Charged for Damage Your Company Did Not Cause


How do we protect ourselves from getting blamed for damage that occurs to a property after we've worked on a home. We won a bid, completed the job, sent in all the before and after photos, and there was new damage to the home after we left. The assigning company is charging our company for the damage in the form of a chargeback.


Hmm, that's a tough one. If it were me, I'd send in a written, notarized statement, with any photos capturing as many affected areas as possible showing the undamaged state after leaving the home. In the written statement, I'd request they remove the chargeback immediately. I'd then call them twice a day until it's removed. (The notarization is not necessary, but I'd do it to send a subliminal message that I'm serious and prepared to pursue legal action if necessary... this may speed up the process.)

Tip: In the future, take as many photos as possible for your personal file when working with this contractor to protect yourself. If you have problems getting paid all your monies from this job, certainly don't work with them again and pursue legal action, starting with filing a mechanic's lien against the home.

What is a Mechanic's Lien?

A mechanic's lien is a "security interest" in the property's title. As a contractor, if you have provided labor or materials to improve the property and you have not been paid fully, you can place a lien on the property and seek to get the rest of your monies when the home is sold

Do You Have Questions?

If you have a question as a new foreclosure cleanup company, please feel free to email me, and I will respond. May take me a bit to get back to you because there are so many of you, but I will respond. If I feel others can benefit from the foreclosure cleanup business Q&A, I will post the question anonymously on the blog and expand upon the answer in this newsletter.


DISCLAIMER: These Q&A's are for information purposes only and are not intended to replace appropriate legal, tax, insurance and other appropriate counsel.

Read more blog posts at this link: How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business: FREE Articles & Advice.

Cassandra Black is the Author of How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business: FREE Articles & Advice Blog, How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business, How to Register Your Business with HUD & Other Government Contracting Agencies: One-Stop Resource to Locate Government Contracts, Pricing Guide for Foreclosure Cleaning & Real-Estate Service Businesses, How to Market Your Foreclosure Cleanup Business, the Foreclosure Cleanup Business Combo Estimate & Contract Form, (and other cleanup business forms) and the Housing Authority Master Contacts List with Bonus Search Tool. Cassandra is also the CEO of Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC, Real Estate Cleanup, Atlanta, GA, and an Investor & Landlord (TheCassandraGroup RE ).
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Notice of Intention to File a Mechanic's Lien:  You can advise the company owing you that you INTEND to file a "Notice of Intention to File a Mechanic's Lien," which will give them a head's up and may get you paid faster. This would prevent you from having to actually file the lien with your county office (the County Clerk's Office in most counties) and will save you on the filing fee. Here's a sample below:






Notice is hereby given that the undersigned, (YOUR COMPANY NAME), intends to file a mechanic's lien for (AMOUNT OWED TO YOUR COMPANY WRITTEN OUT) Dollars (DOLLAR AMOUNT IN NUMBERS), on real property owned by you and commonly known as (STREET ADDRESS). The legal description for said property is as follows: (INSERT LEGAL DESCRIPTION -- CAN BE GOTTEN FROM COUNTY OFFICES).  The filing of said lien is for the purpose of securing payment of amounts due for (LIST SERVICES YOU PROVIDED) performed by the undersigned within the last (INSERT NUMBER OF DAYS) days, in accordance with the written agreement entered into on (INSERT DATE OF YOUR CONTRACT OR WORK ORDER) between you and the undersigned.


Sample Mechanic's Lien:   A mechanic's lien must be recorded in the county where the property is located. There is traditionally a fee for filing a mechanic's lien. Here's a sample mechanic's lien so you know what it looks like:
Good luck to you! 
Previous Helpful Golden Nuggets

Get Your EIN Today:,,id=97860,00.html.  


Tip: To locate your County Clerk's Office, GOOGLE phrases like "Your County Name" and County Clerk; or "Your City Name" and "County Clerk".

Business Rules for Your State:  To find out rules, regulations, business registration and filing requirements in your state for doing business, visit this government link and find your state:

D-U-N-S Number Tip: Don't "pay" for a D-U-N-S Number! Some companies charge $149 and up when they box it with other services. Getting your number is free, free, free if you are signing up as a vendor on government contract registration websites.
Get FREE Business Cards:

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Products to Grow Your Business

How to Market Your Foreclosure Cleanup Business: A Step-by-Step, Shoestring Marketing Guide for Foreclosure Cleaning Business Owners

Blogs of Interest

Research the county office in your area in which you'd file a mechanic's lien if you had to (it's likely your County Clerk's Office). 

Products to Grow Your Biz

How to Market Your Foreclosure Cleanup Business: A Step-by-Step, Shoestring Marketing Guide for Foreclosure Cleaning Business Owners

How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business eBook

Interesting Blogs
by Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC 
Prepare a "form" Notice of Intention to File a Mechanic's Lien for your company's files.

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Newsletter by Cassandra Black, Author of How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business and several foreclosure cleanup industry Guides, Reports and Forms. Sign up as a Premium Newsletter Subscriber. You will periodically receive foreclosure clean-up job leads and consultative advice to help you grow your foreclosure cleanup business!

For more industry information, visit the foreclosure cleanup blog and the foreclosure cleaning newsletter archive.

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