Tag Archives: Ted Corless

Beware of this Scam on Elderly Homeowners

Settlement Damage Scam on Multiple Elderly Homeowners

This story is not exactly within our ongoing discussion regarding sinkholes, but it is worth mentioning for several reasons.  Property coverage insurance lawyer Ted Corless, my former boss, is coming to the aid of victimized homeowners, so I wanted to share this story.Nick Stanko - Elderly Homeowner Scammer

A guy by the name Nick Stanko claims he could seal people’s driveways using common house paint, and charged most of his elderly victims between $2,500 and $5,000.  He has been charged in multiple counties with fraud, and has been sued many times in several states.  As you can see from the attached video link, Stanko is a real “charmer.”

Ted Corless is getting involved in a pro bono (that’s free) capacity, representing as many as 71 homeowners in about 5 counties, to see if he can shut this guy down or make him resolve the problems so many of these people are having.

I know from my experience that cracking, settlement damage, or subsidence at homes cannot be resolved by simply painting the cracks.  You have to resolve the problem be it related to sinkholes, clay damage, or construction defects.  Taking money from elderly people and then painting their driveways for such large sums of money appears to be getting Mr. Stanko into a lot of heat.

The real story here: Don’t let anyone tell you that a settlement problem at your home can be resolved with a quick, easy fix.

Make sure to see their occupational license and make sure they have the necessary background to complete the repairs.  Also, if you know anyone who has encountered Stanko and is having problems, let me know and I will get your information to Corless, or you can contact Corless Zinober directly.

Caught in the Middle between Insurance and Construction Companies

Can you file a claim against a construction company?

Question: We purchased our home from a construction company approximately 4 years ago and started experiencing minor cracking in various places around the home.  When we spoke with our construction company, they told us they only warrantied the damage if it was “structural,” and then only if the damage was severe.

My insurance company suggested I sue the construction company.  What role does my insurance company play in this?

What you should expect

You are entitled to request your insurance company conduct an investigation.  Rather than simply talking to your insurance company, I would suggest you write to them and ask for a sinkhole investigation.

It is common for insureds to get caught between insurance companies and construction companies in these situations.  We frequently see homeowners who battle with the contractors for years (with no success), only to find out the home had actually been built on a sinkhole-prone area.

While this may seem unfair, it is not.  The insurance company can actually sue the construction company in a claim associated with recovering any payments made to you.  This is referred to as “subrogation,” and is a part of the insurance process.

What your insurance company will do

The easiest way to look at this is that you purchased insurance for the new home from your insurance company, and now it is damaged.

The insurance company should investigate and then make a decision about how to proceed with the contractor.  If enough insurance companies pay these claims, they can use their lobby to force tougher building standards, which benefits everyone (tongue in cheek, but you get the idea).

Sometimes the insurance company will deny the claim on defective construction or latent defects, but you may still have coverage under sinkhole when such defects are present.