Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you accept clients out-of-state?
Answer: Yes with certain caveats. Generally speaking, a party `doing business' in Massachusetts or actually having a project located here is subject to Massachusetts court jurisdiction. If your company is a foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company, and if you do business in Massachusetts you should probably be registered as a foreign corporation/LLC with the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office or otherwise risk having cases you bring here dismissed based on a certain statutory provision. And, if you are suing a party domiciled in Massachusetts (i.e. having an office here or organized here) on a construction project not located in Massachusetts, in many instances suit can be brought in Massachusetts.
2. Do you accept homeowners as clients?
Certainly! We can especially help with reviewing contractors’ proposals and contracts, making sure that they comply with the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractors statutes and regulations. In addition, what we see frequently with issues with home improvement contracts that turn into disputes is that the scope of the work - and, the exclusions to the scope of work - are not sufficiently defined in the contract. The parties can benefit from Mr. Sauer’s thirty-four years of experience with these issues. And, if desired, we can do this review of the proposal and contract for a flat fee. (No hourly billing!)
In addition, we can assist the homeowner with negotiations with the general contractor, both with initial contract issues and with change order issues. We find that with most home improvement jobs, the owner has not retained an architect and, therefore, may not be familiar with the technical aspects of disputes or with what is usual within the construction industry.
Please note that the home improvement contracts statutes provide for arbitration and mediation of disputes in certain circumstances. If you need an attorney to represent you at a mediation (or, for that matter, with arbitration or litigation), we have a lot of experience in doing so.
3. Can I do at least some of the mechanic’s lien process myself?
Answer: Yes! Please review our various mechanic’s lien articles on this web site for further assistance.
4. How long will my collection case take?
Answer: As each case is different, this is impossible to predict. However, many firms need cases/lawsuits to linger as long as possible because of their massive overhead. Sauer & Sauer is the exact opposite: as a small, family firm with minimal overhead, and quite purposefully lacking the glittering chandeliers and expensive mystique of the Boston law firms, it is our goal to turn your case around as quickly as possible, and earn your “word-of-mouth” referral for the next case! Obviously, cases against better-heeled defendants, and cases with some security interest (payment bond, mechanic’s lien) tend to get resolved earliest.
5. Why is a payment bond so important?
Answer: Because, many times, this is the only way you will get paid! In these cases, most of the time, giving the problem to us well before one year has expired from when you last worked can transform a bad debt into an accounts receivable. Our combined experience on both sides of the bond claim against the surety company is a must-have resource for your bottom line!