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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 7276
Experience:  30+ yrs. representing small business, real estate, probate
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General Contractor is dealing with Client who has stated (in

Customer Question

General Contractor is dealing with Client who has stated (in a phone conversation) that he thinks that the Contractor is "untrustworthy" and out to "screw" him. Contractor wants to sever his ties to the project, and is presenting a bill for tasks and services rendered to present. There is the strong likelihood of Client challenging the amount billed. There was no written agreement (due to past business relationship and to Client's insistence on expediting the work).Should Client refuse to pay, what are Contractor's options?
Is a lien on the Client's property called for?
What exposure is the Contractor facing: (i) Overall?, and (ii) For terminating his participation in project before completion?There are multiple written communications with Client.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

What exposure is the Contractor facing: (i) Overall?

The contractor's exposure is to loss by not getting paid in full. It sounds like a commercial project, and developers will often use this situation to improve their position financially.

ii) For terminating his participation in project before completion?

If you terminate now, then there is no incentive for the developer to pay you, at least without a fight. If the developer needs to work done quickly, this would be your best opportunity to force a written agreement which would both acknowledge what is owed to date, and what will be paid for the final completion. I'll leave that up to you as to how you would protect yourself in the agreement. I presume that you already know what the time limits are filing a mechanics lien in Louisiana.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Project is a residential condo. The owner of record is the recalcitrant party. His 'significant other' (S.O.) has been our client in the past, and we have enjoyed an excellent relationship, while completing various projects for him. S.O. called us in to the project, but 'recalcitrant' has behaved like a horse's ass. He has impugned, in a variety of ways, and in no uncertain terms, our character and expertise.
While virtually all of the interactions have been verbal, we have attempted to set the record straight by sending him written notes explaining the situation. He, however, persists in his behavior. We want no more to do with him, other than to collect what we are owed.2. We will be presenting a bill for that part of the project which we have completed. We would like to reserve the option to place a lien on the condo (New Orleans), should he fail to satisfy the debt.3. No. We do not know the form of, nor the time limits for filing, such a lien as alluded to in your initial response. Could you help with the pertinent information?
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

It looks like you are headed in the right direction. If you do not get a satisfactory agreement for payment, then this document explains the workings of the mechanics lien in Louisiana: https://www.nationallienlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/LA-Law-Summary-12-11.pdf Mechanics lien filing can be tricky and complex, so if there is a substantial amount of money involved in your claim, I suggest using a local attorney to file it for you. Once it is filed, you may proceed with foreclosure against the property and force the sale of it to pay you what you are owed. Again, this is not something that you should attempt on your own.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have some follow-up before closing this question. Unfortunately, I have to step out for a couple of hours, so I'll have to pick this up later. Thanks.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

I will be around and back on line later this evening too.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Actually, been ill & off line since Fri. You can send follow up questions any time.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. Do you have a follow-up question? I am not an employee of Just Answer and I receive credit for assisting you based on your rating. Please enter a positive rating for my assistance here by clicking on 3, 4, or 5, for which there is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.