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How SB 800 affects litigation for construction defects

If you have a newly constructed California home, you likely walked the property, checked all the switches and tested doors at the final walk-through. However, now that you have been in the home for a year or so, you may realize that the roof is leaking, or every light you plug into a specific socket needs a bulb replaced every few months. These issues may be a result of construction defects. At Tsao-Wu & Yee LLP, we have experience in obtaining positive resolution in a variety of construction disputes including defects.

According to FindLaw, construction defect litigation is among the reasons construction insurance costs skyrocketed in recent years. The state legislature passed SB 800, which defines several pre-litigation procedures that must take place before further legal action proceeds. The law provides builders the opportunity to correct defects, without worrying about litigation.

How can I pay off my student loans faster?

According to Forbes, in 2017 student loan debt in the United States totaled $1.4 trillion. For many people, the amount of debt they owe seems impossible to tackle, especially for those in entry-level positions just starting out in their careers. The following tips will help you develop a plan for paying back student loans at a much faster rate.

Consider refinancing

What can I do about a bad contractor?

You expect your contractor to do the best job possible on your California home. Not all contractors are created equal, and in the event you’re unsatisfied with the finished product you want to rest assured that you take the proper steps. House Logic explains how you can deal with a bad contractor and protect yourself in the process.

Make sure a firing is legal

Living well after Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The paperwork is processed, you’ve met with your creditors, the liquidation has come through and you are on your way to a newly debt-free life. In a way, this is where the real challenge begins. You will need to approach day-to-day life with new spending habits to avoid what got you into debt in the first place.

There are a few simple steps anyone can take to keep their finances stable and rebuild their credit at the same time. By sticking to these principles, you will find yourself living well and enjoying your debt-free life to the fullest within a few months.

How can I recover financially after the holidays?

Now that the holidays are over, you may be feeling the strain on your pocketbook. While this season is meant to be a time for celebration and family, for many people it can bring them perilously close to financial instability. There is hope however when you follow these tips provided by U.S. News & World Report.

Assess how much you’ve spent

Can credit card balance transfers help?

If you struggle with debt, you may wonder if there are alternatives to bankruptcy that may allow you to get your debt under control. One such alternative is a balance transfer. Credit Karma explains a balance transfer as the name suggests is when you transfer the balance of a credit card to another credit card. Generally, when you do this the card you transfer to has a lower interest rate, often no interest rate for an introductory period.

If you can save a significant amount on interest by transferring to a very low-interest card, a balance transfer may help a lot. Keep in mind that you still have to pay off the debt. It does not eliminate or reduce what you owe. It just offers savings in the long run. You may also get lower monthly payments depending on the difference in interest rates.

Can you prevent construction defects?

If you hire a building contractor to build a structure for you, you want the final project to be of high quality. It is a huge investment to build something. It also takes a lot of time to do it. Even if you are not hands-on during the process, the planning alone will take a lot of your time and energy. You also want to be a part of making decisions along the way as the building progresses. One thing that can derail the whole project is a construction defect. According to Modern Construction Solutions, you and the builder have a hand in preventing many defect issues.

It all begins with careful planning. Any errors during the planning phase snowball as building begins. You need to ensure your plans will work. You have to work with professionals who know what they are doing. You need to check and recheck plans for any possible issues.

Using experts for claims of differing site conditions

Contractors and project owners in North Carolina, know that large undertakings have many moving parts. Contract provisions often identify typical issues, and the methods for handling them. This is especially true when discussing site conditions. The contract should also address procedures for communicating and documenting unforeseen circumstances. When issues occur outside the contract parameters, there are several alternatives, innovative solutions and cost-effective methods to a court trial.

According to Spire Consulting Group, differing site conditions can cause unexpected delays, affecting project timelines and overall cost. In locations where the underground conditions are questionable, experts with the knowledge and experience quantifying the impact of the circumstances investigate the situation thoroughly. They may also determine the appropriate value of the damages raising a wide range of questions:

  • What were the conditions prior to the start of the project?
  • Were there stipulations within the contract regarding the conditions?
  • Did the site differ from the contract description?
  • Was the situation reasonably unforeseeable?
  • Were there actual damages that resulted from the unanticipated conditions?

Five bankruptcy myths

Struggling with debt is extremely stressful. Most people also feel a sense of shame surrounding their debt. And yet, many Americans fight to pay their bills. In 2016, 794,960 people filed for bankruptcy in the U.S.

Perhaps you have medical bills, unexpected home repairs or you lost your job. A variety of situations can cause debt to mount, and when it does, it can spiral quickly. Filing for bankruptcy may seem like a last resort, but before you rule it out, here are some common myths about bankruptcy.

Resolve contract disputes without going to court

Construction disputes in California typically occur when one or more parties believe there has been a breach of contract. A claim can be costly for your business and damages your reputation. At Tsao-Wu & Yee LLP, we work with clients to resolve issues in the most effective way possible. If you are a contractor on the brink of legal action, there are options available that may allow for dispute resolution without the time and expense of going to court.

According to Construction Executive, contracts that address each facet of the construction process can reduce the opportunity for disputes to arise. Identifying potential risks in advance, documenting challenges and communicating throughout the process can help resolve issues before they become problems. Use the dispute resolution clause in the contract to designate the methods utilized in the event a conflict arises. Conventional ways that allow for resolution outside of the courtroom include the following:

  • Negotiation occurs between you and the project owner to resolve the issue yourselves.
  • Mediation uses a neutral third party for a mutually satisfactory resolution. While not a legally binding process, it may provide a way to conclude the project without costly claims.
  • Adjudication also uses a neutral third party. However, whereas a mediator assists in resolving the issues, the adjudicator renders a decision. If needed, the court can enforce the judgment. This method allows your operations to continue while resolving the dispute.
  • Arbitration includes a neutral third party with experience relevant to the matter at hand. In circumstances lacking consensus, the arbitrator can render a binding decision. Although this method can be faster than court proceedings, it can cost nearly as much.
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