Suing a Contractor for Walking Off the Job....

#1

Jackcrevol

Get a Brain, Moran.
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#1
Have an attorney already...anyone here ever had to do this? Any info you can share.
 
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#2
#2
Sorry to hear this! Can you provide some more context? And did you have a written, signed contract, even if only an email version?
 
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#5
#5
Don’t handle breach of contracts, but it depends on the cost that you are out. You’re gonna have to pay an attorney hourly, which may be more that what the contractor owes you. If it’s small enough, just take them to small claims
 
#6
#6
The juice probably isn't worth the squeeze unless it's a lot of money involved. Hopefully you didn't pay a lot up front.

A contractor my dad hired to pour a concrete pad for him essentially walked off the job. They would not show up when promised, or come severely understaffed. Eventually they wouldn't show up at all or return phone calls. He cut his losses and we ended up finishing the concrete ourselves.

I read google reviews now before hiring someone.
 
#7
#7
The juice probably isn't worth the squeeze unless it's a lot of money involved. Hopefully you didn't pay a lot up front.

A contractor my dad hired to pour a concrete pad for him essentially walked off the job. They would not show up when promised, or come severely understaffed. Eventually they wouldn't show up at all or return phone calls. He cut his losses and we ended up finishing the concrete ourselves.

I read google reviews now before hiring someone.
This is last on the list of some remodeling, but our driveway needs redone. Around here, I've heard all kinds of horror stories about people paying thousands up front, then never hearing from the people again. Whenever I do have it done, probably a couple of years, I'm gonna have to really do research.
 
#8
#8
This is last on the list of some remodeling, but our driveway needs redone. Around here, I've heard all kinds of horror stories about people paying thousands up front, then never hearing from the people again. Whenever I do have it done, probably a couple of years, I'm gonna have to really do research.
We have a pretty amazing landscape/ hardscape contractor (fences, decks, retaining walls, etc.) We tell him what we want, with a fair amount of arm-waving, and he nails it each time.

Detailed contracts sent and accepted online, 50% due upfront, but this first check isn’t cashed until the day they start working. Incredibly fast; they work when they can to get it done (just finished today in three days the lumber part of the front yard retaining wall; new steps and walkway pending weather), owner swings by during the day to make sure things are going right.

Considering that no one other than the owner speaks English (and his has Moments), it’s remarkable how well it all works out.
 
#9
#9
We have a pretty amazing landscape/ hardscape contractor (fences, decks, retaining walls, etc.) We tell him what we want, with a fair amount of arm-waving, and he nails it each time.

Detailed contracts sent and accepted online, 50% due upfront, but this first check isn’t cashed until the day they start working. Incredibly fast; they work when they can to get it done (just finished today in three days the lumber part of the front yard retaining wall; new steps and walkway pending weather), owner swings by during the day to make sure things are going right.

Considering that no one other than the owner speaks English (and his has Moments), it’s remarkable how well it all works out.
I think I've mentioned this in the zone. Tiffany has some nephews that started their own business, contractor stuff. I'd been hearing some bad stuff, and would mention it to her, but she was convinced they would never 🙄. I even saw a job they did, one of their dad's was in it with them, and he didn't have a good reputation anyway. It was so bad, and I say that as someone who wasn't gifted with those skills. They wanted to redo our deck, but no way I was letting them. I knew I sucked at this stuff, but did it myself 🤣. They just up and moved off one day, left everyone and everything. We knew it was odd, but turns out they were going to remodel this lady's house, and made her pay like 50k up front. A couple weeks before they moved they took a big week trip to pigeon forge, and we knew they couldn't afford it. A few days after the move a lady posted on our county Facebook page. Put their name, picture, and said they'd took her money, and never done a thing. They'd done several like that, but that was the biggest amount. It's a popular gig around here unfortunately, even for driveways.
 
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#12
#12
Have an attorney already...anyone here ever had to do this? Any info you can share.
do you actually have a contract? Need something in writing and signed by both. otherwise its going to be tough to hold them. if you can even find them. a lot of these guys set up a new LLC every single year, and unless you catch them with the right LLC up, you are going to be up crap creek. heck some of these guys don't even have an actual business and go under an alias so its impossible to track them down.

I am an architect but don't handle single family stuff, so some of this is really not going to be applicable, especially if its just a remodel type job.

in the future if its a big job make sure the contractor is bonded. contractors walking out is such a big problem there is a whole side "insurance" system of bonding where the "insurer" guarantees you the owner that if the bonded contractor walks off the job or can't complete they have to cover it as the agreed to price minus what you have paid.

other option is called retainage. never pay the full amount until you have reviewed the work and are happy with it. its all over "commercial" sized projects, even townhomes.

it may be tough to get a residential contractor to agree to either, and will likely charge you more for it, but its good cover for you. but really only do this if its a bigger project north of 10k.
 
#13
#13
do you actually have a contract? Need something in writing and signed by both. otherwise its going to be tough to hold them. if you can even find them. a lot of these guys set up a new LLC every single year, and unless you catch them with the right LLC up, you are going to be up crap creek. heck some of these guys don't even have an actual business and go under an alias so its impossible to track them down.

I am an architect but don't handle single family stuff, so some of this is really not going to be applicable, especially if its just a remodel type job.

in the future if its a big job make sure the contractor is bonded. contractors walking out is such a big problem there is a whole side "insurance" system of bonding where the "insurer" guarantees you the owner that if the bonded contractor walks off the job or can't complete they have to cover it as the agreed to price minus what you have paid.

other option is called retainage. never pay the full amount until you have reviewed the work and are happy with it. its all over "commercial" sized projects, even townhomes.

it may be tough to get a residential contractor to agree to either, and will likely charge you more for it, but its good cover for you. but really only do this if its a bigger project north of 10k.
It is a remodel, it is north of $10K. And he stated he was licensed, bonded, and insured. However, normally when an Attorney sends a letter AND and email the party will respond or their insurance will.

Nothing so far. Guess they'll find out when clerk delivers papers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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#16
#16
Don’t handle breach of contracts, but it depends on the cost that you are out. You’re gonna have to pay an attorney hourly, which may be more that what the contractor owes you. If it’s small enough, just take them to small claims
what we are having to do.

Not exactly my idea of fun.
 
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#17
#17
The issue at hand is that we hired them to do a custom job. They agreed.

We signed contract. They required weekly payment up front. We noticed after two weeks that the work was sub standard.
 
#18
#18
It is a remodel, it is north of $10K. And he stated he was licensed, bonded, and insured. However, normally when an Attorney sends a letter AND and email the party will respond or their insurance will.

Nothing so far. Guess they'll find out when clerk delivers papers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I didn't say this but at least in Georgia the specific project has to get bonded. Do you know if the contractor got your project bonded?
 
#19
#19
I didn't say this but at least in Georgia the specific project has to get bonded. Do you know if the contractor got your project bonded?
Based on my speaking with counsel, and with seeing how they handle their business. And judging by no response to atty, or response from insurance. I would say no. a hard no.
 
#23
#23
Yeah, need details. Issue often is whether it's worth it and a recovery can even occur. That is, sometimes suing someone might result in a win but no way they can pay it. Just a lot of factors.
wont this go on their llc record?
 
#25
#25
Did the contractor do "the job" but just not to your satisfaction? Or did they not complete the job at all?
 
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