I lived in my home for over 60 years. Then, I made an insurance claim with SAFECO INSURANCE. Instead of simply repairing the damage done by the tree falling on my bedroom, they told me lies and stole my home through destruction. SAFECO INSURANCE, PROTECH CONSTRUCTION, LOS ANGELES COUNTY BUILDING AND SAFETY are all involved in this theft by deception.
Protech Construction was found to be in violation of the Professional Conduct Code, and was ordered to pay me for damages assessed by the Contractors State License Board. Protech did not pay as ordered. I filed a claim against the contractor’s bond, and they are now stalling me about payment.
If you are insured with SAFECO INSURANCE or have any contracting work scheduled with PROTECH CONSTRUCTION owned by Vince and Kimm Paglia, you need a new insurance company and a new contractor. SAFECO INSURANCE does not have any oversight. There is no one in charge there. The Presidential Service Team is no joke as it does not assist consumers resolve problems with claims adjusters. Claims adjusters and contractors maintain a confidential relationship that disadvantages the consumer. Once they close ranks, no help will be forthcoming from within the company. Consumers are forced to seek assistance from the Department of Insurance, but they do not help consumers get answers to pertinent questions and they make no demands of the insurance company to provide consumers with answers to legitimate questions about the handling of a claim.
SAFECO INSURANCE appears to have every law firm capable of fighting them on retainer. Not even PUBLIC COUNSEL would help me bring a case against the insurance company because of conflict of interest concerns. Unless one has an incredible amount of money, there is no legal help available. Stalling, along with lying, is the chief action employed in the commission of this scam. SAFECO INSURANCE repeatedly notified me that I could not file a lawsuit against them if it was not brought within a year of the commencement of work, hoping to convince me that the statute of limitations would expire and I would be without recourse. That might be so if I was only looking to prove bad faith, but this is fraud and a civil suit can still be brought.
CAVEAT: AVOID SAFECO INSURANCE AND PROTECH CONSTRUCTION, PERPETRATORS OF A CLAIMS SCAM THAT DEPRIVES CONSUMERS OF THEIR HOMES AND THE INSURANCE CLAIM FUNDS NECESSARY TO PROPERLY RESOLVE A CLAIM.
When Vince Paglia, president of Protech Construction, and Nichole/Nahal Mazandarani, a senior adjuster at Safeco Insurance, came to my home to discuss the timetable of repairs, I thought they had been sent to repair the damages to my bedroom, caused by a tree limb falling on my house on Earth Day, 2016.
It took Safeco 19 days to respond to my claim that I entered 15 minutes after it happened. Trevor Haaswyk was the adjuster who responded and he sent an appraiser and an engineer to my home to assess the damages. The first adjuster responding requested the engineer’s assessment as he could not assess any structural damage that was not readily visible. The engineer assessed the damages and wrote a report that totaled the damages at around $48K. There was no damage to my storage/workshop, no damage to any other room in my home except the bedroom. The bedroom definitely suffered structural damage, but because my home was handbuilt in 1923, it withstood the weight of the wild pecan tree that fell on it. If you know anything of wood, you know pecan is dense and heavy.
When Mazandarani shows up with Paglia, they told me repairs could not commence because I had no foundation. The entire house would have to be rebuilt. Mazandarani called me a couple of days after this pronouncement to tell me the rebuild had been approved. They would begin after Paglia returned from his vacay in Croatia. He said he would start with the “garage”.
There was never a garage on this property. There was a workshop for metal and woodwork that I expanded to accommodate storage needs. When we needed off-street parking, the drive in front of the house easily accepted two full-sized vehicles. No matter how often I said I didn’t have a garage and didn’t want my workshop torn down, as it wasn’t damaged, I was told that LA County Building and Safety and Planning required me to have a garage and covered parking. A driveway had to reach from the sidewalk to the garage.
This scheme to rebuild my home with only an authorization for repair was signed off on at every instance of money disbursement by Kent Stiles of Safeco. Stiles took over my claim from Trevor Haaswyk and would never answer me when I asked what happened to Haaswyk’s findings.
I have been suspicious of the behavior of my insurance provider and their contractor since March 2017. By then, they had surpassed the 3-6 month time estimate in the “contract” I signed with Protech. I felt I was being subjected to bad faith. It took quite some time to find the department to report problems with claims, but I was told the Presidential Service Team could assist me.
Through first Fernando Moreno and then, Olivia Casarez, both of the PST, I was subjected to further stalling and attempts to call me off the complaint. Ms Casarez would report everything I said to Kent Stiles, who would then alter his documentation to counter whatever my complaint may have been. Ms Casarez openly mocked me when I suggested an audit needed to be done on all claims handled by Stiles. He is much too practiced at covering up, stalling, making paperwork, like police reports, disappear. The narrative that had included rebuild suddenly went to repair only, and it was as if Protech had not been the one to rebuild this house, but came in only to make repairs about items I said were missing or never installed on this site. This is not the first time a consumer has been subjected to this skimming scam, this fraud, that seems to be a systemic failure of Safeco Insurance.
Throughout the process, I noticed there were never any plans drawn for a rebuild, that the contractor was building the house from a poor drawing of my home that didn’t take into consideration the angle at which my lot lies. And that is only the first of many wrongs that occurred here.
The trap pictured above was put in as a replacement for my handbuilt 1923 Rambler. It is not up to Code, yet it passed inspection. It lacks a back door, venting, access to the crawlspace or attic, my recessed lighting, my shelves, a closet, a mirror and vanity in the bathroom; to list more would bore you. The fact that they effectively killed all of my flora, and my library, that they destroyed my kitchen with its built-in, floor to ceiling shelves, I will never get over. I’ve been stuck in this trap a year and still cannot use my stove because there is no connector to the gas line.
Move-in ready. I’m supposed to be grateful for a “brand new house” according to Mazandarani. The project was abandoned when I walked into it. When the Porta Potty is gone, the project is done or abandoned. It looked abandoned to me, having no fencing, no porch, not even a real step, only a plywood board in front of the only entry or exit from this junk.
I want this house torn down. I had no choice in it, was lied to about it, had my home of 60 years taken from me. I now have a property that is worth less, taxed higher, is smaller, and in no way suits my needs. Much of my property that was in storage stands outside because I cannot fit it into the house or the garage. If everything came out of my home, why can’t it go back in?
Most disturbing is that Kent Stiles has been investigating himself. No matter to whom I reported the fact that he was robbing me, everything comes back to Stiles. He has no manager, no supervisor. Neither CEO of Safeco or Liberty Mutual seem interested in knowing they have an embezzlement ring in their Claims department. I think I have spoken to no less than 20 people at Safeco about this matter. Stiles had a security block on my file to prevent any one other than himself from seeing my claim file. The Presidential Service Team is a joke. Consumers should not be subjected to this treatment. Don’t insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers? Guess not.
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.
Looky here, folks. The final tote board. Not one indication of the $48K taken from me, no indication of the foreclosure that propelled me into bankruptcy, except that Beal Bank is clearly listed as a creditor. My, my.
That $1680 – $68.40 are the only fees recorded by the Court. Tortfeasor Brad Weil filed for >$9000 in attorney’s fees. I objected, citing his failure to represent me, his failure to account for my insurance monies, his failure to perform due diligence, his negligence & malfeasance. The Court agreed with me as his fees have been removed from the final accounting.
It took 18 days for my insurance company to respond to my claim. Seems the mortgage company called and changed the pay arrangement I’d made with the insurance company 5 years ago to deduct my insurance payments directly from my bank account. The mortgage company is alleged to have stated they were opening an escrow account and would be paying the insurance from now on. Then, when the bill went unpaid for a couple of months, I received a warning letter that the insurance would cancel shortly. Well, bafflement aside, I paid the insurance in full so that there should be no more problems until time to renew, which is coming soon.
Beal Bank is claiming their interest in the property is not protected by an adequate equity cushion. Wonder what that means as I owe only $44,185.85 as of 7 June 2016 and there is four times that much equity in the property AND the insurance is covering the claim, which will increase the value of the property.
Beal Bank claims they will reach out with possible loan modification options, but we have been over that ground before. Besides, they do not handle home mortgages, according to their Plano TX office and I have already been denied loan modification twice by MGC Mortgage. This backhanded, iffy offer is conditional upon the BK court lifting the stay to foreclose on the property.
Beal Bank will stop at nothing in its attempts to wrest my home from me.
This is what a senior can expect. This is what a veteran can expect. This is what a college graduate can expect.This is what one disabled can expect. This is what the remnants of the middle-class can expect: What you have worked, sweated, struggled, and sacrificed for can be taken away from you, no matter all your playing by the rules, by a corporate entity that can hide behind the law and paperwork. The agencies that are supposed to look out for the consumer are in conflict of interest situations with the oppressors. For example: Beal Bank v FDIC.
There is a 2009 article by Tyler Durdan on the Hypocrisy of the FDIC that I cannot bring up right now, but I will continue to hunt it as Beal Bank is featured in the article.
I have no idea how things are going to turn. After suffering what felt like strange treatment from my insurance company, things have turned there. Seems I had a crooked contractor. His major interest was in money. He was shady from the start, suggesting I move and store my own furniture and pocket the money. Cray-cray. You should have seen my new adjuster swoop in and slay the dragon who lied, came unprepared and incorrect for a woman on her job, a woman of distinctive family heritage, with a good name known for many generations. It was thrilling to watch her work, exposing what I think would have been considered fraud. It is so unfortunate that one cannot conduct business with African-Americans any more. Always come shady lately, if they come at all.
Counsel for Beal Bank filed a falsified document with the federal bankruptcy court, asserting their right to foreclose on my property based on a secured trust deed … that was fully reconveyed in … 1997.
The purpose of probate is to establish clear title to real property. If an active trust deed existed on the property, it would have been unearthed through the probate process.
Beal Bank ignored the probate results, that awarded title to me, free, clear, and uncontested, and proceeded with their wrongful foreclosure.
Also, Beal Bank, through their falsfied document have accepted responsibility for making me pay for a mortgage that was not mine for 10 years.
Waiting for the BK court to tell me something, but have to wait until April.