Gaslighting Pays: SAFECO/PROTECH SCAM

The independent inspector submitted a report to Safeco that was over 23 pages long. They came back with their position that I was only owed $6500 and that I could probably get that money from Protech if I signed a release.

No mention of the missing warranties. No mention of the fact that there are code violations that Protech is responsible for creating. No noting of the fact that I reported incomplete and faulty workmanship; Safeco’s Kent Stiles paid Protech in a hurry from an estimate that was later swapped for another equally inaccurate version that was given to the independent inspector.

In all this time (2 years), shouldn’t there be a final bill, final invoice? Nothing final, prices changing. No warranties, no permits, no instruction manuals especially for the fire sprinklers. The house is torquing. Every day there is another glitch showing.

Neither Safeco nor Protech are trustworthy companies.

BEWARE!

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

 

 

Finally, An Independent Inspector

After six months of wrangling with Safeco Senior Claims Resolution Specialist Kent Stiles,  whom I fired one month ago, enduring his continued attempts to humiliate and abuse me, his attempt to go through the back door of Innovations Properties to get me hooked up with the contractor network that I thought I was already a part of, an independent cost consultant was called in.

Stiles did not want him to know about the 19 days of delay that characterize the first days of my claim that was handled by a fellow named Trevor Haaswyk, now employed elsewhere. Wonder if I should track him down and get a statement? I may present this in civil court if this matter is not resolved to my satisfaction.

The inspector was treated to a first-eye look at the hideous workmanship that is Protech’s signature if all of the online reviews are to be believed. He photographed the overtorqued roof that is twisting the house and causing the apex joint in the centers of the house and garage, front and back, to separate and jut forward and backward. He saw how they deviated from the “plans”, a different set than those presented to me over 18 months of deceit.

The inspector also had a look at the last estimate submitted, documenting that Protech claims they were paid over $238K when their initial bid was $190K. They submitted no paperwork indicating why they needed this extra money. I have no documentation in this house for anything installed, no warranties for appliances installed, and a previous estimate that netted Protech $80K. That estimate was not presented for inspection. Guess the State Contractors License Board will have to take that into account.

I know the inspector found we were charged for items and services that never happened or were never installed on this property. I know he took note of the shoddy workmanship in evidence.

 

Why Safeco and Protech are Fired: Insurance/Contractor Scam

Moment2In conversation with the State Contractors License Board, I learned that the relationship between a contractor and insurance adjuster is private, that no one is privy to what goes on during the claims process between them. This characteristic of the claims process works against the consumer, as I am a living example.

Protech did everything to make the outside of the building look good, but it is deteriorating before my eyes. They provided no invoices, receipts, warranties, or any other documentation to go with the objects installed in this house. There are fire sprinklers in here about which  I have no clue.

The floors are allegedly oak hardwood. I was told to choose laminate because hardwood was too expensive and I had to be mindful of my budget. I never could get a number figure as to how much was in my budget, but found out later that there was $80K remaining in the account. This was paid out to Protech in a mad rush, in the midst of dispute, with the work undone. They didn’t have time to vent the house, the electrical needs rewiring. There are two vent-free, infrared heaters in here somewhere, but I see only a gas heater.

My kitchen is set up in such a way as to prevent my safe use of the stove. Gas lines installed where they are unneeded. I have not had full access to my kitchen for 5 months. Kitchen cabinets were only installed last week, yet they were listed as items bought and paid for on the estimate presented to Safeco for payment. Everything completely unverified, yet paid for, in full. Astonishing.

Frames were not removed, but left to rot underground. The water filter, connected only to the hot water even though it was billed as a whole house filter, had no filter in the canister. The contractor locked the tool in between pipes and told me he couldn’t remove it without turning off the gas. He stuck with this lie for weeks, then came and freed the tool without turning off the gas. Next, he tried to stop us from looking at the filter by saying there was no need to open the canister. Nevertheless, my son opened the canister and this is when we saw there was no filter in it.

The fencing is poorly done and every metal thing on the place, including the security door and the fencing is of poor quality, no comparison to what existed here before. I had hardwood floors, recessed lighting, the most beautiful and pollinator-inviting yard you ever saw. Protech destroyed it and left this cheap junk in place of my handbuilt, 1923 Rambler.

I suspect none of the appliances installed are new. Everything with a date on it comes from 2015. There are no invoices or receipts to prove differently. This house was built as a flip house. This is business?

Is This Fraud, Larceny, or What?

 

Just made 63. The struggle is real.

Safeco, Liberty Mutual has provided the claim file. I have found $28-30K of discrepancies. Safeco has foisted the burden to the contractor, who was brought into the deal by the Safeco adjuster.

I asked the adjuster about the remaining claim funds in October and she refused to answer my question, went incommunicado for two months. When she did surface, it was indirectly, through my housing provider, to cancel my housing, telling me my house was fit for move-in.

It wasn’t.

Got a copy of my claim file. Says I bought hardwood oak floors that were sanded and stained and non-dust sanded, too. Trouble is I can’t find those floors in this house. These are laminate if I’m a day old. Says I have TWO infrared, vent-free heaters. There is a gas monstrosity in the living room. Says the porch pillars have been paid for, but I don’t have a porch any more.

All totaled about $30K in questionable charges. From missing windows, shutters, a back door, hardwood floors, bathroom mirrors, and kitchen cabinetry, to outright lies about what exists in this house, this is pretty shocking shit to me.

The insurance company is quick to advise taking the matter up with the contractor, but the adjuster brought the contractor with her. They are in this together. This isn’t the first time, either, I’d wager.

SAFECO INSURANCE BAD FAITH

I have to get this down before memory fails because it seems to me that Safeco Insurance is attempting to cover up their bad faith.

After asking my adjuster a question about the funds remaining in my claim and a question about the engineering firm that drew faulty plans, she did not communicate with me for 2.5 months. When I heard from her, indirectly through the temporary housing agency, it was to cancel my housing and tell me my home was ready to move in.

In August 2016, I was given an estimate of three months for completion of the rebuild of my house and storage shed. The plans were drawn by engineers from Powell and Associates. They made a major error when drawing the plans in that they completely missed the orientation of my lot. My lot lays like this: \ \, not straight the way they drew it. Also, they did not account for all of my landscaping, which was purposely planted and cultivated to attract pollinators and to help my asthmatic family breathe.

18 months later, Safeco Insurance is trying to force me into a home that has not been signed off on by the County, that had no utilities on, where none of my appliances have been returned from storage. My adjuster sent me into a property that had an open trench, downed power lines, and mounds of soil in both the front and back yards. There is only one entrance, and to enter required stepping over a palette and a plywood step. And then, she played the victim because I asked if she was on drugs. Her actions indicated to me that she was either mad or on drugs. This is part of her gaslighting routine. All through this claim process, she has either downplayed my concerns, ignored them outright, or told me they were not important. Her victim missive completely forgets to mention she sent me into a home that was not ready. She tried to cover by saying she reinspected the property, after she shut down the project (abandoned it), and discovered there were still things that needed done outside. Inspection should have happened before ending my housing and telling me to move in.

I have no idea who to trust or talk with about this problem that has existed since the beginning of the claims process. I now trust no one associated with this project, save my contractor, who is the literal man in the middle.  He is being asked if the house is “livable.” It cannot be livable if there are no appliances and no utilities, yet I am being pressured to move in. Why? Perhaps because we are long past the completion estimate of 3 months.

I feel I have been set up to appear uncooperative. If the claimant is uncooperative, work can be stopped. I think this is what is happening, but I can’t prove it. There is no effort on the part of anyone associated with this claim to own that I was sent into an incomplete house without a certificate of occupancy, without utilities. And when I asked if my adjuster was on drugs, I was told that sort of accusation would not be tolerated. But I am supposed to tolerate the abuse I’ve endured for two years, including the decimation of my landscaping and the ignoring of my complaints that something was wrong with the plans from the very beginning.

This looks and feels like bad faith.

 

The Longest Year

The longest year has actually lasted 18 months and then some. It all started on Earth Day, 2016, when my mom (of blessed memory) laid a tree limb on top of my home. I was sitting in the house, in the bedroom, near Mom’s sewing corner. I heard the limb crack and waited for the whoosh that follows the falling limb when it falls from a height. This time, there was no whoosh, only a thud as the mighty limb laid itself down on my roof and across the two adjacent on the east side of my home.

I dashed outta there like a house afire and immediately called my insurance company, Safeco. It took them more than a week to respond.  The first adjuster was corrupted by MGC Mortgage, the mortgage servicing company that has claimed to hold a mortgage on my property since 2003. Actually, Beal Bank made that claim. I never heard of Beal Bank until probate closed and they started sending me threats to sell my property without notice because they held a Trust Deed.

How do you fight a bank that claims to hold a Trust Deed on your property that was never mentioned in probate? In fact, no claims were made against my mother’s estate, and the only concern of the Court was whether or not I had paid the property taxes. MGC Mortgage paid the property taxes once they were raised too high for me to pay. They opened up an escrow account to gain access to my property when they had no right to do so because they really did not possess a Trust Deed. But the threats were real enough, so I went to a bankruptcy attorney because bankruptcy is the only way to stop a foreclosure, or so I was told.

About six months into this bk, I received payment for the repair of my home. I told my attorney, took him the first check and told him another would follow soon. He copied the check and told me to mail it to MGC, as their name was on the check because they claimed to be a lienholder. Then, the attorney allowed MGC Mortgage and Beal Bank to take the money without putting it into a draw account so that the repairs to my home could commence. Several months later I discovered my attorney never submitted the payment information to the Court, who sent me notice of dismissal for failure to make payments. I wrote the Court directly to tell them I had paid, dearly, and did not understand why the Court was unaware of the payments. MGC Mortgage/Beal Bank corrupted my attorney. He kept the bankruptcy open to collect his fees. I objected, told the Court my story, and his fees were denied, the bankruptcy dismissed.

By this time, my insurance company had moved me to longterm temporary housing. I was only supposed to be there about six months. Turns out I was there 18 months. Nothing recommends living at the beach if you seek quiet. I was housed next door to a senior assisted living facility. The sirens blare two, three times a day and night. Very disturbing and disheartening for me, the living. The apartment itself was 1970s stock, poorly insulated, dusty, dirty in that deep-down dirty that comes of years of use without serious upgrade. Way too much money was paid to house me in that space, but as I am not the moving kind, I sucked it up and stayed. I remained inside for the majority of time I was there. I could go onto the balcony to look at the sea, but there was not much to inspire a need to go out and walk amongst the smokers, the homeless, the stuck-up rich folks, or the neverending dogs. These people are so dog happy they bring the beasts into markets, put them in shopping carts and on check-out counters, and nary a word is said to them. What happened to the law? None of these pocket pooches were service dogs, but employees of the stores are forbidden to even ask if a dog is a service animal. No concern for people allergic to dogs, no protection in the places we have to purchase our food. You are welcome to the beach and the inconsiderate, snotty wankers who live there. (To be fair, I did get to know a few of the people in the complex in which I was housed. They were kind, kept to themselves, and were remotely friendly.)

What I am doing here is writing out my rage. About three months ago, I asked my current insurance claim adjuster about the funds in my account. Nearly $50K was stolen. She told me she would give me the info once she was back in the office, and then proceeded to say nothing for two months. Instead of answering my question, she gave me a final extension on my housing and told me my home was ready for me to move into. When I arrived at my address, I found a mound of dirt in the front yard, a mound of dirt and an open trench in the back yard, a palette for a porch and plywood steps leading into my “brand new house.” My 31 year-old, full of fruit, lemon tree was cut down to accommodate a driveway. A garage had been crammed into a space for which it was never meant to be as my lot is angled in the back, a fact the drafter of the plans failed to take into account. The garage is too close to the house and the driveway is also too close to the house. Had the angle of my lot been accounted for, the garage could have been placed in the front, and my lemon tree, all of my flora could have been saved. My yard has been denuded because of an error that occurred at the beginning of this process. To add insult to this massive injury, the County of Los Angeles wants to add foreign trees to my front yard because they are on the plans. The plans also feature a back door, but I am not allowed to have that. My house resembles a coffin and I quite hate it.

I sent video of the condition of the site to Safeco. My adjuster’s supervisor was out; she knew he would be. Finally, after calling for help all morning, on Shabbos, I was connected with her supervisor’s supervisor. She arranged for an extension of housing, but that would require me to go back to the beach. That had become untenable. So, now I am back in short-term housing at the Residence Inn. And I still have gotten no information about the funds remaining to complete the project. I feel like I am being managed, and that I am being forced to return to the coffin before all work is completed.

I want my adjuster fired, like the first one was. I wonder if Safeco has any agents I can trust. I am absolutely furious about the gaslighting and abuse I have experienced over this, the longest year of my life. Hope I survive.