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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 115430
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I paid a subcontractor for demo work, and for plumbing and

Customer Question

I paid a subcontractor for demo work, and for plumbing and electric work. That sub bailed without completing the demo and not even starting the plumbing and electric work. The contractor asked me to cancel both checks, because he was unable to contact and locate the sub as well.
Finally caught up with the sub. The contractor notified him that the checks were canceled and that he would be compensated for the demo done. The sub said he understood, and was sorry he didn't show to finish the work.
So, he cashed the checks anyhow. Now, the check cashings place is after me to pay them the total, plus fees. Do I have any rights to fight this? Shouldn't the subcontractor who cashed those canceled checks and didn't do the work be liable?
Side notes: This is in Austin, Texas. The sub was Insistant that I spell his name correctly, but then the signature on the back of the canceled/yet cashed checks is spelled differently. Also found out through some digging that he may be coming up on assult charges for domestic issues...
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you can show you cancelled the checks before the sub cashed them, then you are not liable for repaying the check cashing company. You need to determine whether or not he cashed them before or after the stop payment was issued. Second, you have a right to sue him in small claims court for the money and seek to force him to pay back anything you are sought to pay if the check cashing company tries to sue you and also for any damages you incurred as a result of his refusal to complete the work and breaching the contract with you.
The police and the DA will not take charges, they will call this a civil matter, so it means you would end up having to sue him, likely in small claims, for any money due.