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What I’ve Lost

I am certain it is not clear to you the extent of my loss. The lemon tree that took 19 years to bear fruit; buried atop my son’s placental home; planted by my mother who died in my son’s nineteenth year in her bedroom, in the house I’d lived in all my life-she knew him, she helped birth him, she drove like a javelin to Santa Monica, to the converted farmhouse that served as a freestanding birthing center, ensuring his literal birth in a barn. This lemon tree was cut down…by the subcontractor…who is now dead.

My son grew up in that house. He called it a crapshack because he was, in childhood, quite gangling and sometimes ungainly. He was forever stubbing his toes. It was a cottage. It couldn’t be helped that he was a bull in a china shop. Nevertheless, that crapshack was his childhood home and the satellite around which we wove our travels in the world.

We built, my mother and I, a library in that house. Venice thrift shops provided much of our largesse.  We collected, and read, hundreds of books. Destroyed, now, many of them, the bookcase standing in the yard with many of my other klediments.

I knew the man who built my crapshack, by hand. He was a JW. His name was Elmer Lambert. His wife’s name was Ima. I remember they had a daughter, but might also have had a son. The house was a one-bedroom cottage with hardwood floors, built in cabinetry, a counter between front room and kitchen that could be used as a table, serving area, and lookout point. The front door boasted a barn-door type window, giving an unimpeded view of the front and side yard. The doorway was wider than average.

All the doors in my house, save the front entry, opened to the left. Behind the door to the bedroom, Mom had built a linen closet to house our dishtowels, cuptowels, bath towels, sheets, small blankets, some small kitchen appliances. The left-opening door, when left open, provided cover for the cabinet.

I had to step down once into the kitchen. I had a white ceramic sink that was deep, and boasted knobs for hot and cold. It was a piece of a countertop, cookware storage, and under the sink storage unit. Facing the sink, my stove was to my right. I had hooks, hangers, cabinets on the upper walls to the left; a hanger for mugs, a couple of places to hang dish towels. Had a mirror mounted in there, and a light. The large rectangular window above me provided morning light from the east.

I love to cook. My son loves to cook, but he has to have a whole lot of room and prep area. Me? I can whip up something palatable with a couple of burners, but it gets monotonous. I’ve been living like poverty for over a year now with a gas stove that is not connected to the gas line because the contractor left the line capped, providing no connector. There are many gas lines under this structure because a gas line was run to operated the gas dryer I do not have and to the hot water heater that was placed alongside the “driveway” because this structure was built without plans.

The flooring in the bathroom is mushy and feels about to give way at any moment; there’s a leak somewhere, likely because the shower was not installed properly and was not sealed. I have no warranties, even thought I was promised three years of warranties by Safeco Liberty Mutual if only I worked with their preferred contractor.

I had a back door, through which I could generate cross-ventilation, get to my back yard easily. I still have the t-poles for my clothesline, but my undamaged workshop was torn down to make way for a “garage”. There was a scheme to turn my verdant paradise into a heat island, bordered by asphalt and cement. My yard was full of green and flowering plants, including succulents, bougainvillea, lavender, night-blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, a variety of roses. This in an area zoned for livestock and farming. I live in the County of Los Angeles. There are horses here. There are chickens here. There are nurseries here. But the County is gentrifying, which brings me to my property tax status.

In California, in Los Angeles County, in 2015, my property taxes were ~$650 per year. Now, in 2019, my property taxes have tripled. This job, done by Vince Paglia, was accomplished by tearing down my 1923 hand built Rambler home. I had a workshop in the back yard with a waist-high, full-length hard wood worktable. There were shelves that I remember saving magazines in because of the vertical dividers in the cabinet. There were shelves and cubbyholes on the walls. There was a great, heavy wooden drawer, that I possess still, that fit into the worktable. Vince Paglia tore down my workshop, the unpermitted expansion that was used for storage to put up a parking lot and I don’t eeeven have a car.

I miss Segovia. Segovia was a death cactus that grew in a ring of tires. Segovia was very tall, perhaps 7′-8′, and bloomed at night. When in bloom, Segovia’s scent wafted over the yard, blending with the night-blooming jasmine, sometimes the honeysuckle and lavender very faintly. Segovia provided most of the privacy in my back yard, grown along with the honeysuckle that grew on the fence. When Mama Gin lived next door, she was a homeowner who worked for the IRS. Her son served in the Air Force. Her daughter was a flit. She and Mom shared the care of the trees planted along the property lines between the houses. Mr. Lambert took care of most general maintenance, but Mom was pretty handy with tools.  Mom and I took care of the gardening and yard maintenance when I was growing up.

I remember Mr. Lambert gave me my first nickname. He called me Sputnik because I was his satellite as he worked about the place, prattling to him with my 2 or 3 year old self. Ima, Mrs. Lambert, always offered me fruit. I grew up kindly towards the JWs because I grew up with experience of the Lamberts.

I used to play and work in my workshop. I haven’t been able to use my spinning wheels because the inadequate garage is packed to the gills with my household goods. I haven’t been able to unpack because the house is now smaller, configured differently, has not even a closet, though a one-bedroom, one-bathroom was paid for. More than $80K was given to Paglia for goods not in this structure. I wish I did have the vent-free, infra-red heaters for which he received pay. I wish I had my back door. I wish the attic vents had been installed instead of the fire sprinklers for which I have no instruction manual. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with these things because I never had them in my home before.

Vince Paglia and Kent Stiles of Safeco Liberty Mutual have put me in a bad way, I tell you what. I learned from reading the legal bric-a-brac that your insurance provider is not supposed to leave you any worse off than you were before you filed your homeowner’s claim. Maybe this is why Stiles has changed my claim number from 12-digit number to 22-digit number, and when I call to inquire about this claim number that I don’t recognize, no one else recognizes it either.  This brand new claim number is recorded on my claim history with the databases that record such data and hold it for seven years, along with the date of loss of every claim I’ve ever allegedly filed with Safeco Liberty Mutual, the cause of said loss, and the amount paid out to mitigate the loss. This brand new to me claim number even says my loss was caused by water. Imagine, the insurance company is recording false information; my loss was caused by the wind.

If my claim settled and paid out $48K under one claim number, why are $430K and $439K recorded under that new claim number as the amount paid out on those official records? Those records can impact the premium I’ll have to pay for insurance when I manage to escape from Safeco Liberty Mutual.

I have referred to the scam through which I’ve been put as GASLIGHTING. I hate being gaslighted, especially by a corporation that should have a fiduciary responsibility towards me, the insured, who paid premiums, on time, since 2011. Instead of being appreciated, I’ve been robbed.

I believe Safeco Liberty Mutual and Paglia and Associates do not appreciate the severe loss they have caused me. I think the dead contractor kindled the wrath, though….

AS · Bad Faith · Building Contractor Scam · Civil Court · Criminal Organizations · Disaster · fraud · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Insurance Scam · Paralegal Studies · Probate Housing Creditors Mortgages Mortgage Fraud · racism · research · social observation · Sociology · trauma

The Case of the Changed Claim Number

Kent Stiles, adjuster for Safeco/Liberty Mutual Insurance, changed the claim number of the claim I filed on 22 April 2016. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I have been submitting descriptions of my first-time consumer experience of submitting a homeowner insurance claim with Safeco Insurance.

Kent Stiles and Nahal Mazandarani changed a settled $48,000 claim into one for more than $430,000, though I am certain much more money than this has been expropriated. The scam is too widespread, too longlasting, involves too many players for the sums recorded on paper to properly compensate them all.

After figuring out Mazandarani and Stiles were conning me, I asked Mazandarani if she was on drugs. She had us move into what I described at the time as an “abandoned” project. This same language is used in the citation issued the contractor, Vince Paglia dba Protech, by the Contractors State License Board. Mazandarani took extreme umbrage to my suggestion that she must be out of her mind if I was supposed to move into a building with an open trench in my back yard and a pallet serving as the step into the only point of ingress or egress without resorting to a window. I spoke with Stiles about this; he claimed to be her supervisor. I may have suggested to both of them that I would whip Mazandarani’s ass if she showed her face ’round me ever again in life. Hence, all subsequent interactions have been with Kent Stiles.

I patiently waited for the Department of Insurance agent, John Mort, to help me get answers to my questions about the irregular ways my claim has been handled. Little did I know John Mort was working for Kent Stiles even though the Department of Insurance is supposed to be looking out for consumers. Kent Stiles has a very long reach is what I’ve learned in this 3.5 year homeowner claim experience. John Mort had to have been aware of the change in claim number; homeowner claim history is recorded in external databases for at least seven years. The claim number for the claim I filed 22 April 2016 and for which I possess a physical claim file, has been changed. The new number is something I have never seen before. For the past 3.5 years it has listed the cause of loss as water when the actual cause was wind, like those blowing fire now. The tree that lost the limb that fell on my bedroom still stands and sways in the high winds, but Kent Stiles paid for project, that now adds a rescinded Certificate of Occupancy to its faults. Recently, through the dispute process with one of the databases, Kent Stiles reversed himself, changed the cause to wind, but holding fast to the more than $430K charged against my insurance policy, charged against the consumer, charged against this unfamiliar- to – me claim number.

Think the IRS needs to know about this?

No matter how many times I told Kent Stiles something was wrong, he either ignored me or told me a lie. No matter how many people I spoke to at Safeco/Liberty Mutual, no one batted an eye at what Kent Stiles was doing and continues to do to me, my claim. If I spoke to one person, from supervisors, managers, the Presidential Service Team, I spoke to twenty and er’rbody was ultimately working for Kent Stiles.

Can anybody tell me why Kent Stiles would change my claim number; why John Mort of the Department of Insurance, regulatory body, would let me waste two years waiting for his intervention in helping me get, what I thought at the time were, documents relevant to my claim? The Stall is a major part of this scam. Time must elapse so that the unassuming consumer won’t catch wise until the claims history disappears from view.

This seems like embezzlement to me and fraud at my expense, conducted by an institution I am forced to use to protect my property. I question the impartiality of the regulatory body, the Department of Insurance. I question how Safeco/Liberty Mutual is allowed to stay in the insurance business, except I’ve always thought insurance is a racket.

Bad Faith · Building Contractor Scam · Criminal Organizations · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Insurance Scam · Law · Paralegal Studies · Probate Housing Creditors Mortgages Mortgage Fraud · social observation · Sociology · trauma

AVOID SAFECO INSURANCE AND PROTECH CONSTRUCTION

If you have an insurance policy with Safeco Insurance, you should look for another provider. There is something terribly wrong with a company that is supposed to have the consumer’s trust but won’t answer questions, lies to your face, bullies you, and destroys your home with no consequences.

The low premiums lure you in. Just don’t file a claim. It took 19 days to get a response from Safeco after a huge tree fell on my home. Good thing my home was made of old, hard walnut wood, else I might be dead now.

Finally, an adjuster responded, sent an appraiser to assess the damage. He couldn’t make a full assessment because he could not see the inner workings of the house, the beams and such, so he called for an engineer. The engineer assessed the damages as being confined to my bedroom. No other rooms were involved and no damage was done to my workshop at the rear of the property. The amount needed to repair my home was set at $48K, detailed in a dated engineering report (Donan Engineering) with an expiry date of March 2018.

How did my bill come to $430K? Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you.

Community · ethnography · Language · observations · power · research · social observation · Sociology · trauma

I Don’t See Color

Here’s a phrase that sincerely chaps my ass. What if the police ask you to describe me? Whachugonsay?

Discovered my disgust with this statement after getting into a discussion about who can and can’t say nigger. We concluded with the thought that anyone can say anything (conditional) because this is a country that constitutionally guarantees freedom of speech. I added that saying anything means being ready and able to take the consequences of those utterances.

See, you can’t say nigger to everyone. I don’t care how you spell it, inflect it, think it’s cute or a term of endearment, you can’t say that to everyone. Some folks have a reflexive action to being called nigger. They will bust you in the mouth, with love, ’cause they ain’t having it. I think I am one of those people.

Nigger is a slur, an ethnophaulism. How’d you like it if I walked up to you and called you my Dago, my Wop, my Mick, my Chink, my Gook, my Buddhahead, my Guinea, my Spic, my Kike, (recent) my Beaner? Does it grate a little? If not, do you know someone who might not share your attitude?

It is difficult to find a slur for whites that carries the same punch as nigger. By becoming white, those ethnics who look more like the dominant group eventually became white. Hunky or honky no longer packed a punch. Even Jews thought, and think, they were white. It only takes a second to be disabused of that notion when faced with real crackers who think the kikes are out to replace them.

We are all color struck. We are overly concerned with the color of another’s skin because to be anything other than a variation of pink is to be diminished in the world. We don’t talk about slavery. We don’t talk about Jim Crow. We don’t talk about the Trail of Tears. We don’t talk about segregation, an active factor in our lives today. Why are we all color struck, especially those who come here from other countries where there may or may not be a racial history of torture and abuse? Loss of cultural and historical memory? Loss of self-awareness? Loss of our humanity? For certain, it is because we have been taught to be conscious of color, particularly for purposes of differentiation and separation.

We need to speak to one another in the way we wish to be addressed. Don’t come @ me with your nigger speak. I really will bust you in your mouth, with love, and dare you to call the police. Since you don’t see color, you won’t be able to give a credible description and I will go on my way, hoping I taught you something of value.

AS · Bad Faith · Building Contractor Scam · Criminal Organizations · Disaster · Economic Anger · Health and wellness · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Scam · Sociology · trauma

Caught on to the Mad Movida that is Fraud and Grand Theft by Safeco Insurance and Protech Construction

One of the crimes commited here is conspiracy to commit fraud. Then, there is the grand theft. Corruption of government inspectors may be involved as no building permits exist and code violations continue in effect. From the time Kent Stiles took over the handling of this claim from Trevor Haaswyk, the intention was to defraud, plunder the claim for as much money as possible.

I am so sure I am not the only one who has been victimized by these thieves.

Stiles manages the paperwork. He creates, alters, and otherwise manipulates documents to fit the needs of the time, whatever is needed to facilitate theft. His field adjuster, Nahal Mazandarani, was sent out to gain my confidence, survey the site, and act as if the lack of a foundation under my house was a thing significant enough to warrant the complete demolition and rebuilding of my house and storage shed, even though there was no structural damage done to the storage shed. All destruction, including the cutting down of my healthy, fruit-bearing, 31-year-old lemon tree and the decimation of all of things planted to support pollinators and clear the air around my property,  following from there being no foundation was blamed on Building and Safety inspectors.

Somehow, Protech managed to rebuild this house with plans for repair, regardless of my complaints. It is no wonder I am now short 8 sq ft from my house, according to the company that came out and measured the objects on the lot to provide me with a premium based on the property standing here now, not my 1923 Rambler. Neither Protech nor Safeco notified anyone that this house and shed had been rebuilt. As this work was considered complete in December 2017, when it was abandoned by Protech and my family and I were forced in,  I think the rebuild was never going to be reported. Plunder access point number one.

Tactics to which I was subjected during the commission of this fraud included bullying, gaslighting, lying, and stalling. Stall for time, drag it out. I was given an estimate of 3-6 months to complete the project. Why was I out of my home for 18 months, not counting hotel time? Protech invalidated their own contract by not completing my home within the estimated time frame. It didn’t matter how many complaints I lodged; they had a plan and were sticking to it. The crime is in the plan and the sloppy execution.

The second plunder access point was the $165K in personal property monies that went untouched throughout the claim. I didn’t save the insurance company any money, that’s certain. You’d think they’d care to know how these schmucks not only robbed me, but also them. When I complained to Stiles that the items for which he was being asked by the contractor to pay were nowhere in this house, he told me to file a police report if I thought things had been stolen from the site. He then made the police report disappear by giving the report to another adjuster, telling him to process it as a fresh theft claim. Stiles previously told me that he wouldn’t pay for the items I said were missing, but he sent the police report number and a list made up of items he told me were not covered to the new adjuster. That adjuster processed this new theft claim, charged me another deductible, and poof! the police report with Grand Theft on the cover, that details $75K worth of nonexistent items vanishes as a closed claim.

Because the relationship between adjuster and contractor is confidential, they can accomplish all sorts of tricks with no oversight. It is as if the relationship is sacrosanct. It is because of the nature of the relationship that Stiles and Paglia have likely done this job of work several times over the last 16 years. I know I am not the only victim, but I may be the only one to have realized what was happening and alerted one agency when the estimated 6 months of being out of my home was exceeded. Had to stick it out to the bitter end to really see what was going on. I am 7 months past the time I should have been talking about this, but it is only now that I am receiving paperwork from the Assessor’s Office and Safeco regarding premium renewal that I can see, clearly, how Stiles pencilwhipped me and my complaints out of existence.

My home is smaller and there are many things wrong with it that will necessitate tearing this mess down and starting again, this time with the proper documentation and proper procedures followed. Now, there is an investigation into fake inspections because not one building permit exists for this horribly rebuilt house. No building permits, no warrantys, no invoices, no receipts, except for fabricated ones. Nor were there supposed to be any. It was supposed to look as if Protech was only recently hired on to correct errors for which some other contractor was responsible.

I have 6 estimates for the same job. None of the final numbers match. I was asking for the return of the $80K Safeco paid Protech on my birthday, but I realized I must ask for much more because there is so much that must be corrected and paid for.

I entered into this contract in good faith, and have been treated nothing but badly. I am looking for justice for all of us who have been duped by these scoundrels.

 

 

 

aging · AS · Bad Faith · Criminal Organizations · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Law · Paralegal Studies · Sociology · trauma

Now, I Am Believed

Well, well. As Safeco hired the Independent Inspector, I expect to never see his report. When he presented himself here, he seemed fair and even-handed, I might even say fair-dealing emanated from him. I must be radiating some sort of freneticism because all men wind up talking to my son. I think they hear me, but they talk to him. At first I rather despised this male habit, but once I rethink it some more, I’ll get back to this line.

For six months, we have been glamping, with the boxes that have no where to go gracing the “driveway” and the “back yard” with their unexamined contents. After opening 400 boxes on the dead run, I hadn’t the manual dexterity to continue. Gotta rest that carpal tunnel, doncha know?

No stove hookup available, no flex line and cut-off valve. But this was paid for. So, I bought some electric burners and have been cooking with electricity. Hate it.

The meter board should have arc faults in it. They were removed by Protech’s electrician when I called to tell them the breaker was thrown when nothing much was on. I think the place needs rewired. Their fix was to remove the Building Code-required arc faults.

The adjuster who made the payments, Kent Stiles, continues to head up the investigation into my claims of his, Mazandarani’s, and Protech’s malfeasance. How can he investigate himself? I asked him this directly. He provided no answer. I had the opportunity to ask his manager, and he said Safeco thought he was the best person for the job because of his “familiarity” with the case. The man has participated in my gaslighting for over two years, masterminded the situation IMO because he is the common denominator among all adjusters who have worked on this case. Stiles took over the case from Trevor Haaswyk, who later left the state. Stiles made the payment to Beal Bank. He made the $80K payment to Protech in March even though he knew full well the job was in active dispute. I used his estimate to craft the police report itemized list of items stolen from my property. Safeco paid for all sorts of things after Protech provided them with a written estimate. Not a final bill. No invoices. An estimate, only, after two years. At this point, some precise figures should be available.

But, no. After submitting this $80K estimate to me, Protech issued ANOTHER ESTIMATE, that stated they spent $238K on this project. Again, what was installed was altered, costs changed, still no receipts or invoices presented, no explanation of the change in cost from their original “bid” of $190K to the final $238K. Stiles is the only one qualified to investigate these irregularities as he aids and abets grand theft. SMH