What to do if a home warranty company owes me money for a claim I made but will not send me the check?

I filed a claim 9 months ago for a broken water heater to the warranty and was told I’d receive a check in 6 to 8 weeks. It has been 8 months and after numerous calls and a BBB complaint, I still have not received a check. Every time I call, they keep telling me I’ll be getting a check, but it never comes. The last time I called them I told them I’d be contacting a lawyer and filing a small claims suit. Do I have a case? I don’t really want to spend money on a consultation to find out I wouldn’t win.

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A warranty, like a home warranty, is a contract: both parties are bound by its terms. If the home warranty company should have sent you a check for certain amount, under the terms of the warranty and given the factual situation (e.g. what happened), then you would seem to have a good case--again, the warranty is enforceable as per its terms. You should recheck the warranty itself and all other documentation and agreements with this company, but if on  the fact of it, they owe you money, you would seem to have a good case. For an amount equal to or less than, say $1,500, you should consider not hiring an attorney and filing the matter yourself in small claims court--a lawyer's fees could eat up most of your recovery. Good luck.


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