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What is a Home Inspection?
How to get your legal issues resolved in Home Inspection - by P. Nathan Thornberry  XML
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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
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Location: Carmel, IN
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You know what has always bugged the hell out of me? The way home inspection businesses (and home inspectors) deal with legal issues.

Allow me to explain:

If you spend any time at all on a home inspection industry social media page or forum, you will see on a daily basis multiple posts where a response to a question includes "you should consult your attorney". Of course, I always have to stop myself from posting in response "would you like to add "dumbass" to the end of that?" (Because it's obvious, an attorney can deal with a legal issue and get an answer to a question. The person posing the question in a social media thread specifically did not send it to an attorney but rather wanted to poll the group or get an idea of what the answer should be, etc. so like just answer the question or abstain instead of playing Captain Obvious you keyboard warriors out there).

But enough about my social media pet peeves on this one. There's a deeper issue here: How many inspection companies actually have attorneys on call? How many employ one as general counsel? The answer is virtually ZERO on the first question and an absolute ZERO on the second and by the way there are only really 3 attorneys who have focused their careers on home inspection and related issues throughout the U.S. and done so with an impeccably competent record (Alex Vollmer, Joe Ferry, and Mark Cohen). If you were to actually engage a local attorney, get them on retainer, the first thing they would probably ask is "what is a home inspection?" and then any time you had an issue you'd have to pay their hourly rate to learn about the subject matter and then act.

Coincidentally, the number of inspectors that have taken that "you should consult your attorney" advice in all those social media threads is probably also ZERO (so you keyboard warriors can go back to...oh, nevermind. Stay online. Nothing else to do ).

I, myself had this same issue. When I was fairly young in the business, around 19 years old, I had my first legal issue to contend with. Nothing big, just a minor dispute and I felt an attorney's letter would be a good move. I'm in the warranty business, which is about as familiar to attorneys as home inspection, and I discovered this in the worst way: I consulted a local attorney my parents had utilized for years. He talked to me for an hour on the issue, wrote a letter for another hour, sent me a copy to review and sent me a bill for around $600.

Here's the best part - when I reviewed the letter, it was clear he had no idea what we really did. In fact, he didn't even refer to us as a "warranty company" in the letter. He called us a "mortgage company". Probably just a mistake but seriously? I fired my first attorney that day.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and we have not one but three legal professionals on staff. Not just outside firms, no, staff members that get a paycheck from us every week. It was literally impossible to find competent counsel that I didn't have to train on our business with every little issue and then pay through the nose for something I felt like I, as a layperson, could have done much better. This wasn't an easy thing to accomplish and really doesn't pencil unless you're doing tens of millions in revenue - which puts literally every single home inspection company in the world in the same position as I was nearly 20 years ago with no good options.

So what should you do? Divide and Conquer.

Remember those three names of the only attorneys in the U.S. that really understand home inspection? (Vollmer, Ferry, and Cohen) You can put one, two, or all three to work for you for less than any attorney in town will charge you just as a retainer. Here's how you do it:

1. Get with the Program! (The ISG Program)

Alix Vollmer and her team work tirelessly on compliance and complaint issues for RWS and on behalf of RWS (Residential Warranty Services) for our clients. When you offer warranties with your inspection, anything and everything that could be deemed a warranty items ends up being NOT your problem even if it goes legal. You essentially get a third party to not only defend the issue and pay for the issue, but they bring their own counsel with them at their own expense. Not only do we get rid of issues but IF they become for any reason an E&O claim we cover your deductible up to $5000.00. Talk to Mike Doerr and see http://www.InspectionSuccess.net for details and to get enrolled. The Cost: As little as $0.

2. Engage Mark Cohen on an as-needed basis.

Many if not most legal issues facing an inspector (formation, legal questions, etc.) can be handled in no time flat when you have an attorney that has been working in the industry forever and has most everything committed to memory. For as little as $150 and a retainer of ZERO DOLLARS for qualifying Home Inspectors, Mark Cohen is your counsel. For things that require a locally admitted counsel, Mark can help you through that process as well. See details at http://inspectionsuccess.net/Legal

3. Get Joe Ferry to respond to frivolous claims.

Then there are those, "Hello, I'm an attorney representing Mr. Smith and you didn't find the underground, buried, concealed oil tank in his back yard when you did his inspection 5 years ago and we are demanding $21,000" letters from attorneys who know nothing about inspection (which is all of them. That's right, I am publicly calling out every attorney in the U.S. as being uneducated on this topic outside of these three. You can reach me at Nathan@Nathan.tv if you'd like to talk about it. lol). How do you deal with those? Well, a letter in response to these from Joe Ferry has an incredibly high rate of success (high 90's) in getting them GONE. The cost? A small monthly fee. Oh, and Joe says those warranties from item #1 above do a great job of reducing the number of claims to deal with. Check out his program at http://www.JoeFerry.com


So there you have it. Spend maybe $0 to a few hundred annually for the best representation there is for a home inspector. Inspired by that attorney that disappointed me nearly two decades ago. I think I'm going to send him a bottle of wine with a thank you card now.



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This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 07/02/2018 02:33 PM EDT


P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
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www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
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jtroth
RockStar!
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Joined: 06/18/2014 10:11 PM EDT
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Location: Columbus Ohio area
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I love the direction things are going. Thank you for the efforts towards making these things happen

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1015 E Broad Street Columbus Ohio
614-413-0075
Columbus and Dublin Ohio home inspections
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Nathan
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5221
Location: Carmel, IN
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I want to make sure everyone read the part about the E&O Deductible Protection. That is automatic when you utilize 90 Day Warranties from Inspector Services Group as well.

http://www.InspectionSuccess.net

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
jtroth
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Joined: 06/18/2014 10:11 PM EDT
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Location: Columbus Ohio area
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Do we have to have our insurance through Allen?

Habitation Investigation
1015 E Broad Street Columbus Ohio
614-413-0075
Columbus and Dublin Ohio home inspections
http://www.homeinspectionsinohio.com
http://ohiohomewarranty.net/
http://ohiohomeinspectionguide.net
https://ohiohomeinspectionvideos.com/
https://homeinspectionsinohio.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HabitationInvestigation
https://www.facebook.com/columbusohiomoldtesting/
http://www.columbuscommercialinspection.com/
http://www.environmentalconsultantsofohio.com/
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5221
Location: Carmel, IN
Online

jtroth wrote:Do we have to have our insurance through Allen?




Not at all. There is a $1000 deductible reimbursement for all policies. It goes up to $5000 on the Allen Insurance policy found here http://inspektmagazine.com/insurance

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
trustedhomeinspection
Liger
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Joined: 06/22/2018 08:01 AM EDT
Messages: 17
Location: Schaumburg
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Thanks, Nathan for the post, this is going to help many home inspectors. As such there are not many complications associated with General Home Inspection Services Schaumburg but it is better to keep yourself updated with regulatory guidelines and follow best practices. I have more details here- http://www.perfecthomeinspection.us/service/standard-home-inspection/

Perfect Home Inspection service are the trusted and licensed home inspection experts for all your home inspection needs like General Home Inspection, Property Inspection, Pre-Listing Home Inspection in and around Volo, Vernon Hills, Schaumburg and Palatine. More details at- http://www.perfecthomeinspection.us/
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cawehing
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