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FAQ

The Basics

What

SafePact is a Home Improvement Management Service designed to help homeowners and contractors manage home improvement projects more easily and efficiently. SafePact provides online tools to facilitate communication and documentation to ensure better experiences.

Who

Homeowners and contractors both benefit from using SafePact. It allows both parties to maintain a permanent paperless trail of all the documentation and communication associated with a home improvement project. The entire project file is electronically stored for easy access from wherever they have internet access. Homeowners and contractors have access to standardized, fillable, sample documents covering the most common areas where documentation is a necessity and then the opportunity to save them directly into their project file.

Is

No, there is no fee to create an account. All of SafePact’s ”most loved” features are FREE. Fees are only charged if you are using SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing, an optional feature that helps to mitigate performance and payment risk for both parties when they need it.


How Does SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing Work

What

SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing is an online service designed to provide financial protection for both homeowners and contractors involved in a financial transaction by acting as an independent third party to ensure both parties deliver their commitments. All funds are held in a FDIC insured, designated account and are disbursed only upon agreement by both parties.

Who

Homeowners and contractors are both customers. A homeowner should use SurePay Payment Processing whenever entering into a transaction with another party to provide services and you are interested in ensuring satisfactory performance prior to release of payment. A contractor should use SurePay Payment Processing to obtain the financial commitment from the homeowner and promote business integrity. All funds are held in a FDIC insured, designated account which provides financial protection for both the homeowner and contractor.

Does

No, SafePact is independent of both parties and remains neutral at all times.

Who

The fee is split 50/50 between both parties, which ensures a fair and balanced transaction. If the homeowner pays with a credit card the fee associated with processing the credit card is passed on to the contractor.

Is

No, there is not a minimum amount when using SafePact’s service, however there is a $10.00 minimum fee. There is a maximum transaction size of $100,000. Transactions using a credit card are capped at $10,000.

How

SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing fees are on a sliding scale starting at 3.75% and go down to an incremental fee of .25% on the amount between $10,000 and $25,000 so your total fee can be as low as less than 1% depending on the size of your transaction. There is a $10.00 minimum fee. If the homeowner pays with a credit card there is a separate 3% fee associated with processing the credit card which is charged to the contractor.

How

SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing is a process that protects the contractor by verifying funds and protects the homeowner by allowing verification of contract terms prior to release of payment. It creates a balance of power ensuring both parties deliver on their commitments and obligations to the other party.

How

Escrow accounts are usually used in the context of mortgages where the mortgage company establishes an escrow account to pay property tax and insurance during the term of the mortgage. The escrow is a separate account from the mortgage account where funds are deposited, typically on a monthly basis with the homeowner’s mortgage payment. Since a mortgage lender is not willing to take the risk that a homeowner will not pay the property tax and insurance, they require a designated escrow agent who has the duty to pay these expenses. This service is usually required under the mortgage terms. SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing is dedicated specifically for use with home improvement projects to mitigate performance and payment risk in completing home improvement projects.

How

A SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing account is a FDIC insured designated account, thus in terms of safety and security it is very similar to a typical escrow account. The major difference is in its designated purpose.
Click here to use our Fee Calculator to see what the fee would be on your transaction.


Security

Can

No, all SafePact accounts require you to enter your password for security. We take great measures to protect your account and privacy. All SafePact accounts are only accessible with the password you create and maintain.

What

In the world of electronic commerce, security is paramount. People are concerned about sending private data over the Internet and we know that you want to be assured that your financial and personal information will be kept safe from interception.

SafePact has installed an SSL Certification on our website which protects information flowing to and from SafePact’s site from cyber thieves intent on stealing personal data. Names, addresses, passwords, account and credit card numbers – all are safe when submitted to a website with a valid SSL Certificate. SafePact.com’s SSL certificates support both industry-standard 128-bit (used by banks to safeguard sensitive data) and high-grade 256-bit SSL encryption to protect online transactions.

Before an SSL Certificate was issued SafePact’s company information underwent a rigorous authentication procedure that serves to verify the domain control and the existence and identity of SafePact. Thus, the SSL certificate guarantees that SafePact is who we claim to be and that we have the legal right to use the SafePact.com domain. SafePact takes the extra step to ensure the highest level of security which is an Extended Validation Certificate which is only available to corporations that are legally registered and verified to have a status of “Good Standing.” In addition it requires a validation letter from an attorney or accountant. Only with an EV SSL certificate is there a padlock icon followed by the “https://” prefix and the SafePact.com name against a green background displayed in the your browser bar.

At its most basic, an SSL Certificate is a piece of software that encrypts all information moving to and from SafePact’s website. This means no exchange between SafePact’s website and you can be intentionally or accidentally “overheard” by a third party.

Once you enter a secure area of an SSL-protected website, the following steps take place:

  • Your browser requests a secure session from our server.
  • Our server responds by sending your browser a digital copy of our server certificate.
  • Your browser verifies that SafePact’s server’s certificate is valid and is being used only by the website for which it was issued, and has been issued by a Certificate Authority that your browser trusts.
  • Once the certificate is validated, your browser generates a one-time “session” key and encrypts it with a key.
  • Your browser sends the encrypted session key to the SafePact server so that both SafePact’s server and your browser have a copy.
  • The SafePact server decrypts the session key using its private key.
  • The SSL “handshake” process is complete, and a secure connection has been established.
  • A padlock icon and “https://” prefix appear in your browser bar along with a green address bar including SafePact.com’s name indicating that a secure session is under way.
How

Your funds will be held in an FDIC insured, designated escrow account. In addition SafePact is insured and bonded.


Getting Started

What

To register as a homeowner, you only need your first name, last name, email address, zip code and password. To register as a contractor, you only need your business name, first name, last name, email address, zip code and password.

What

You will be sent an email with a link to confirm your SafePact account. After clicking the link you will have completed your registration.

What

To start a transaction after logging into your SafePact account you will need to create a job. To create a job you will identify the job type from our drop-down menu. Then you will give the job a descriptive name in the Job Title field which will be how you identify this job. Next you will enter the contract amount, a proposed start date for the project and projected completion date. You can then upload a copy of your contract. You will then invite the homeowner by entering their first and last name and their email address. This will trigger an email to be sent to the homeowner alerting them that their project is in the SafePact system awaiting their approval and subsequent funding.

What

To start a transaction after logging into your SafePact account you will need to create a job. To create a job you will identify the job type from our drop-down menu. Then you will give the job a descriptive name in the Job Title field which will be how you identify this job. Next you will enter the contract amount, a preferred start date for the project and a preferred completion date. You then enter your contractor’s name and email address. This will trigger an email to be sent to the contractor alerting them of your desire to use their services via SafePact.com and that your project is in the SafePact system awaiting their approval.


Your Account

What

You can reset your password by selecting the Login button, click on the ‘Forgot your password?’ link, and enter your email address (the same one you registered with SafePact), then click on “next”. You will be sent an email with a link to reset your password. When you log in with your temporary password this will be a one-time password and you will be prompted to enter a new password.


Communication Questions

Why

To ensure that emails from safepact.com are not blocked as spam, please add safepact@safepact.com to your address book.

What

Have the other party check their spam email filter to ensure that emails from safepact.com are not blocked. To ensure that SafePact emails are not blocked make sure that safepact@safepact.com is added their address book.

How

The details of a job can be viewed at any time by logging in to your SafePact account and clicking on ‘Review Jobs’ and then clicking on the particular job you want to review.

How

When you create a new transaction by entering the email details of the other party they will automatically receive an email invitation to either accept or decline the transaction by logging in to the SafePact.com. If the recipient has not responded in 3 days a reminder email will be sent notifying them they have a pending transaction. If the recipient has not responded in 3 additional days a 2nd reminder email will be sent notifying them they have a pending transaction. If the transaction recipient has not responded by either accepting or declining the transaction invitation within 7 days from the date of creation, the transaction will be automatically cancelled and the party initiating the invitation will be notified it has been cancelled.


Using SafePact’s SurePay Payment Processing – Follow the Money

How

As a homeowner after you have confirmed the details of the contract, you will be asked to transfer funds into a secure SurePay Payment Processing account until your project is completed to your satisfaction. Payments can be made via electronic transfer (ACH) with your bank name, account type, account name, bank routing number and account number. SafePact also accepts credit cards as a payment method.

How

You will receive an email notification when funds have been received and are held in a secure SurePay Payment Processing account. In addition the status of your job will indicate that funding has taken place. In accordance with banking practices, received funds cannot be confirmed as cleared for 3 business days from the date of receipt by SafePact. Based on this information, it is at the discretion of the contractor as to whether they choose to wait for the clearance of funds before commencing the job.

How

Customer funding occurs within 2 to 3 business days of initiation by the homeowner. Funds are then held in a secure SurePay Payment Processing account until both the homeowner and contractor agree that the terms of the contract have been met. Once agreement has been reached, funds are released to the contractor and will be available in the contractor’s account within 2 to 3 business days.

How

When the job is complete, the contractor must log in to his SafePact account select the job and click on ‘Work Complete- Request Approval’ button, which will automatically send an email notification to the homeowner requesting them to log in to SafePact, confirm that the job has been satisfactorily completed and release the funds.

When

When the homeowner is satisfied that the agreed contract terms have been met.

When

As long as the funds have cleared and have been held in a SurePay Payment Processing account for a minimum of 3 business days from the date of receipt, then payments will be processed the same day (or next available business day if the request is received after 2.00pm) that the homeowner’s request to release funds is submitted. Payments will be processed via ACH (electronic transfer) and will be deposited within 2 to 3 business days into the contractor’s bank account. If the funds held in the SurePay Payment Processing account have not cleared when SafePact receives the request to release funds, payment will be processed on the first business date they are cleared.

As

Yes, partial release of funds to the contractor may be requested by contacting the SafePact Helpdesk by clicking through the Contact Us button and entering the appropriate information. Please be sure to include your job number and amount to be released.

When

Fees are deducted when receipt of funds is confirmed. For example, the homeowner deposits the agreed upon amount of the contract plus ½ of the fee with SafePact. When the funds are posted to the SurePay Payment Processing account the amount available for disbursement to the contractor is the contract amount less the contractor’s ½ of the fee.

Does

Yes SafePact does accept credit cards. We can accept all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club cards.


Changes, Cancellations, and Disputes

Can

Yes, but only if both parties agree to the changes to the transaction. Once the job has been created and sent from the contractor to the homeowner but not accepted by the homeowner, the transaction can be edited by the contractor and resent to the homeowner. If the transaction has been accepted by the homeowner, then the transaction details can only be changed by contacting the SafePact Helpdesk. In this case, both parties need to approve change(s) by making comments through the message portal which will save a permanent record within SafePact. Once both parties have agreed, they must contact the SafePact Helpdesk by clicking through the Contact Us button and entering the appropriate information.

How

If you create a transaction then wish to cancel it, you can only do this if the other party has not already accepted the transaction invitation.

To cancel a transaction prior to the other party accepting or declining the invitation, log in to your SafePact account, select the transaction, then click “Cancel Transaction” and provide a reason for canceling the transaction in the comments section. This will trigger an email to the other party notifying them that you have cancelled the transaction and you will notice the status will show cancelled. When the other party registers or logs in to SafePact and selects the invitation, they will see the comment submitted and the reason the transaction has been cancelled.

Once the transaction has been accepted by the other party, you cannot cancel it without the consent of the other party.

To cancel the transaction after the transaction has been accepted, you will select the transaction, then click “Cancel Transaction” and provide a reason for cancelling the transaction in the comments section as well as how the transaction will be resolved, ie x amount of partial payment. This will trigger an email to the other party notifying them that you have cancelled the transaction. When the other party logs in to SafePact they will be notified of the cancellation and will have the opportunity to accept the cancellation as you have presented it or reject the cancellation. If the cancellation is rejected you can resubmit your cancellation or move the dispute to the Dispute Resolution process.

If a transaction is cancelled, with the consent of both parties, prior to any funds being paid to SafePact then no fees will apply. After funds have been paid and received into a secure SurePay Payment Processing account, a cancellation fee of $25.00 plus 3% if the transaction was funded with a credit card, will be deducted from the funds held and the buyer will receive the original amount deposited less the SafePact cancellation fee. If both parties agree to the terms of the cancellation SafePact will execute the cancellation and any fees earned on money paid to the contractor will apply plus the cancellation fee.

What

If the homeowner does not respond to the email request to release funds within 2 business days from the date the email request was sent, the homeowner will receive a daily reminder email from SafePact for 5 days. The contractor should communicate directly with the homeowner via SafePact’s secure message portal which will create a permanent record of the interaction. If the homeowner does not respond to the email notifications the by the end of this 7 day period the contractor will receive notice from SafePact and it would be recommended that they begin the SafePact Dispute Resolution process.

What

If there is a dispute between the homeowner and contractor during a SafePact transaction, the party who is disputing the transaction must notify SafePact and the other party to the transaction by logging in to their SafePact account, selecting the relevant job, click the “Dispute Resolution” tab. You will provide the details and the reason for the dispute in the comments section, then click “Submit Dispute”. SafePact and the other party will receive an email advising the transaction is in dispute. The homeowner and contractor have a “Negotiation Period” of ten business days to resolve the dispute. If the homeowner and contractor have not resolved the dispute within the Negotiation Period the dispute will be moved into a binding dispute arbitration process with an Independent Arbitrator as agreed to by both parties with the terms of use. The funds will remain in the secure SurePay Payment Processing account until SafePact receives notice from the Arbitrator that the dispute has been resolved at which time it will execute the decision of the Arbitrator.

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