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A few weeks ago we had a massive storm and suffered damage to the exterior of our house  (siding, roof, fascia, ect)  We had an adjuster come out and assess the damage. We are going to receive a check this week. Due to the high dollar amount Wells fargo (our mortgage holder) is on the check as well.  They need to endorse the check prior to releasing any funds to us.  I have received three estimates from reputable contractors who have a  good long standing reputation. All estimates come in MUCH lower than the amount I will be receiving. I am contracting most of the work and doing a small amount myself.   For example Metlife gave us $1000 to repair 2 PVC trim pieces that took me 20 minutes to patch and paint.   I understand that Wells will need to come at the end and inspect the house to make sure all repairs are done properly as they obviously have a vested interest in the condition of the house.  My question is-- does the contractor scope of work have to exactly match the adjusters description of what needs to be repaired?  Also what happens to the money from the insurance claim after everything is repaired and there is a surplus of money ?  Is it returned to the homeowner?     Thank you

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rated:
http://uphelp.org/pubs/getting-your-mortgage-company-release-ins...

Some of the controlling terms should be in your mortgage documents.

I would hesitate to do any of the work on your own, frankly. The mortgage company could require that all work be performed by a a licensed contractor, which I think would be a reasonable demand, and I doubt that you are one.

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I had the same experience when we had hail damage to our roof. 

Check was made out to myself and our lien holder - I endorsed the check and sent it off to our lien holder. They then set up an escrow account with the funds available for disbursement. Invoices were sent to the lien holder and they disbursed the money back to me. After all of the work was completed, they verified that it was replaced and disbursed the remaining difference to me. 

Yeah, a little bit of hassle but very straight forward. I would definitely call up your lien holder and find out if they have a specific process for this. 

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Call Wells Fargo and get to somebody in the department that handles claims like this.  They are big enough that they will have a whole department that deals with the very issues you are asking about, and they will have a standardized process with respect to documentation required, necessary inspections, release of funds, etc.  In my experience, they will have a threshold below which they will just release the funds without any further due diligence.  I had a twenty-something thousand dollar claim a few years ago, and I just had to provide a contract for the work along with the check, and they endorsed the check and sent it back to me, end of story.  I remember them having a provision for DIY work as well, but I didn't go that route, so I don't have any direct experience with that.

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You received an estimate from an Adjuster they are paying you to make the house good as new, If you fix it under their estimate the money is yours. How it will work with them having to cosign the check. I do not know Never had that issue. For my car that was hit by hail The adjuster handed me a Quote and said If I were you just replace the windshield, pocket the rest. At the time I could not afford to replace it and asked him to keep it below the totaled threshold for this claim

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The difference in estimate to insurance check amount is ~17,000$. Seems pretty substantial and seems like it would raise red flags.

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Wells Fargo is my lender too and I just went through a massive repair where I had the checks written to both of us.
In my case, I went to Wells Fargo branch, they endorsed the check after filling out some paperwork and taking copies of the estimate and the insurance estimate.
They then gave me the check(s) and I deposited in my own account.
After repairs were finished, they sent someone to check the house. He took photos of the finished repairs and that was it.
He DID NOT ask for bills from contractors, nor did he look for permits.
Just my experience, don't know if this is standard across the board.

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Some policies give you replacement cost, but you will initially only get depreciated cost until all repairs are made, then the rest. If you do it yourself you might lose the extra.

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Bracing for red,but --  If this was me, and I had a WFC checking account (which I do), I would simply endorse the check myself and deposit.  I think there's at least a 50-50 chance that it would go through,and essentially no downside risk.

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tuphat said:   Bracing for red,but --  If this was me, and I had a WFC checking account (which I do), I would simply endorse the check myself and deposit.  I think there's at least a 50-50 chance that it would go through,and essentially no downside risk.
  Might be considered a fraud. 

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ach1199 said:   
tuphat said:   Bracing for red,but --  If this was me, and I had a WFC checking account (which I do), I would simply endorse the check myself and deposit.  I think there's at least a 50-50 chance that it would go through,and essentially no downside risk.
  Might be considered a fraud. 

  
They would have to prove that you intentionally did it, and didn't do it by accident.  I am not saying its right, but it would be very very hard to prove fraud unless you admitted to it.

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I think you should visit Wells Fargo and discuss your options with them. I had an insurance claim and the loan was with BofA. I can't remember exactly what I had to do, but they eventually endorsed the check and I deposited it into my Chase account. In any case, they will know how to proceed, you're definitely not the first to experience this, and with storm damage, likely your neighbors are in the same boat.

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I appreciate everyone sharing there viewpoint and or experience. I am just hesitant to spend 8-10k on a unnecessary roof repair but would if I am forced. I do not have the option of going to a wells branch. There isn't one within a 150 miles from where I live

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Edouble198 said:   I appreciate everyone sharing there viewpoint and or experience. I am just hesitant to spend 8-10k on a unnecessary roof repair but would if I am forced. I do not have the option of going to a wells branch. There isn't one within a 150 miles from where I live
  Don't have a phone, either?

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Your problem is similar as i had it. the insurance company member came to my home and check all the repair which is done properly by contractor.they must give you an insurance money for which you take their insurance services.. but you must find some good insurance agency which give you a good insurance services to you.

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daw4888 said:   
ach1199 said:   
tuphat said:   Bracing for red,but --  If this was me, and I had a WFC checking account (which I do), I would simply endorse the check myself and deposit.  I think there's at least a 50-50 chance that it would go through,and essentially no downside risk.
  Might be considered a fraud. 

  
They would have to prove that you intentionally did it, and didn't do it by accident.  I am not saying its right, but it would be very very hard to prove fraud unless you admitted to it.

  FWIW, not suggesting that I would endorse/sign WF on back of check, just saying that for check that's co-payable to the bank where it's being deposited, there's at least an even chance of it making it's way through the system without triggering an exception.  In the event it did not, then you could go "regular order" without much downside risk.  "Hey, the check said WFC and I deposited it in my WFC account.  I really don't know the in's and out's of joint payees, 'and vs. or,' etc."

ETA, just for fun.  UCC section 3-110(d) provides in part:  "If an instrument payable to two or more persons is ambiguous as to whether it is payable to the persons alternatively, the instrument is payable to the persons alternatively."  So, if there's no "and" connecting the payees, but say a slash mark, or maybe one name listed on top of the other with no connector, or some other ambiguous presentation, then the check may be negotiated by either party, i.e., it's treated as an "or" check.

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Many banks have a low threshold at which they don't care who does the work so long as you say it has been done and maybe provide a few photos. Then there is a mid range amount where you are allowed to do the work yourself but have to have it inspected by someone they choose (and at their cost) before the funds are released to you, although they may release funds to you in increments as you do the work for the cost of supplies and such. Finally, for any amount over X, they require you to use a licensed contractor and you can't do the work yourself. This top range amount might be $20,000 or more. The fact that the check is far larger than actual cost matters little if any to the mortgage companies. They just want their lien to be on a fully repaired house, not some duct tape repair job that falls apart or leaks in a few years. You get the extra money back eventually so long as you meet the repair level thresholds.

Just be sure to keep good records and before/after photos until you get the money back.

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tuphat said:   
...

ETA, just for fun.  UCC section 3-110(d) provides in part:  "If an instrument payable to two or more persons is ambiguous as to whether it is payable to the persons alternatively, the instrument is payable to the persons alternatively."  So, if there's no "and" connecting the payees, but say a slash mark, or maybe one name listed on top of the other with no connector, or some other ambiguous presentation, then the check may be negotiated by either party, i.e., it's treated as an "or" check.

  I like this clause

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Edouble198 said:   I appreciate everyone sharing there viewpoint and or experience. I am just hesitant to spend 8-10k on a unnecessary roof repair but would if I am forced. I do not have the option of going to a wells branch. There isn't one within a 150 miles from where I live
  The other item bank are usually concerned with is a lien waiver that the contractor won't place a lien on the property for this work.    For Penfed, I only need to sign an affidavit that repairs would be completed, no pictures, etc.  

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