Legal Question in Elder Law in California

I was hired by the Power of Attorney over an individual to clean out years of hoarding activity, rat infestation, human and rodent waste and to find and secure all financial records , investment account statements, bank accounts, billing statements and personal memorabilia, photos of his family and travel scattered within the debris. I provided a quote to complete the work which was agreed to and signed by both parties. When the work was completed I provided a full report of the services that were provided and did a walk through with the Power of Attorney which was signed off by the Power of attorney that the work had been completed and payment would be issued. The following week the Power of Attorney informed me that she had resigned her position administering the mans estate because he became physically abusive with her and that she had turned over all the mans documents to the administrator of the assisted living facility the man had been placed in and notified adult protective services that the records were at the facility and that the man needs someone to manage his finances and healthcare. To date no one has stepped in to handle his responsibilities. None of his bills have been paid except the place where the man is living. The woman there has the man call his stock broker and sell stock every month to pay her bill.

Last week a Realtor who lives in the mans mobile home park went to see the man and told him he had to sell his mobile home or the State was going to auction it off for unpaid property taxes in July. Which was an outright lie. The mans taxes are current up to this year. He scared the man into listing the property under value and the following day went back and had him except an offer that was not in his best interest to another resident in the park. None of that transaction is relevant to my claim except that the realtor does not believe that the work I was hired to do on the property is required to be paid through escrow. What do I need to do to get my money for all the work I did to make the mobile home ready to sell in California?

Asked on 3/26/17, 10:04 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Well the realtor is correct that you don't have a right to be paid through escrow. The bottom line is that you have a common run of the mill breach of contract for non-payment claim. If the man won't pay you, you'll have to sue. If you act quickly enough, you can probably get a writ of attachment on the escrow proceeds, which would prevent them being paid out until you obtain a judgment. But that can be very costly, and without knowing the amount of your claim, I can't say whether it is worth that expense. If it is under $10,000, you can do it in small claims court.

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Answered on 3/26/17, 2:04 pm

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