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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26824
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I would like to know some option pertaining to a contract I

Resolved Question:

I would like to know some option pertaining to a contract I have signed that was underpriced. Is it binding no matter what? I have a small contracting business LLC.The cost of the job we agreed to is a considerable amount lower than what is actually needed to finish the magnitutde of the job.This cost was agreed to with verbal promises of more work. I am trying to negoitate with the contractor to share the loss and begin a new contract with a fair cost to cover the building. Right now i had to stop work due to not being paid on a time and material cost until this is resolved. What are some things I can do to recoup some of the losses and come out of this without losing everything? If he tries to sue me what recourse do I have?No mattter what the contractor needs to finish the building and will have to pay additional monies to complete the project. I am not willing to sigh any lein release until i get the money owed and this is resolved. Can he throw me off the job if he stopped paying me? Is he breaching the agreement to hire someone else until this is resolved. Is there any thing I can do assist me?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

As a general rule you can't get out of a contract just because it turned out to be a bad deal for you unless the other side did something to hide the true facts upon which your contract is based.

Dwayne B. :

You can certainly negotiate with them and if they choose to let you out of the contract then it's great, but you can't force them to let you out because it was a bad deal.

Dwayne B. :

However, if the other side has failed to pay on time or otherwise breached the contract then you can claim that you are no longer bound by it due to their breach. If you are going to take that road then you need to go and hire an attorney to send the proper notices and start "setting it up" in case you het sued for stopping work.

Dwayne B. :

If it is as bad of a deal as you state then likely the best thing that could have happened to you is for them to have breached the contract.

Dwayne B. :

Since that now gives you a way out of it.

Customer:

They owe me money and I cant get out of it until it is paid. They claim they didnt know that the number didnt work until recently but they are contractors themselves so they lowballed my number to put more money in their pocket. They want me to sign a release with their offer that is not covering the money that i already sunk into this project. Can you clarify some of the other questions i asked you? How could i prove that they had the knowledge and was well aware that their number didnt work. i originally gave theim a fair number and then they lowballed me to a number where it is not feasible cost to do this project.

Dwayne B. :

Is it binding no matter what? Yes, generally so.

Dwayne B. :

What are some things I can do to recoup some of the losses and come out of this without losing everything? You can't make them pay more, so all you can do is sue them to pay you what they owe and call the contract void from that point. Since you're not making a profit you can't sue them for the profit like you normally would.

Dwayne B. :

If he tries to sue me what recourse do I have? I don't know what you mean by this, other than you can countersue since he breached the contract.

Dwayne B. :

Can he throw me off the job if he stopped paying me? He can refuse to let you back on the job site but it doesn't mean he still doesn't owe you for what you have done to date.

Dwayne B. :

Is he breaching the agreement to hire someone else until this is resolved? He breached the agreement by not paying you. If you refuse to work then he can hire someone else.

Dwayne B. :

Is there any thing I can do assist me? Get the lawyer and prepare your case. Your issue is that you can't sue to get more money than the contract calls for, which is what it sounds like you want to do. All you can do is sue to get the money that he owes you and if you can show what profit you wre expecting to make you could sue for that lost profit.

Customer:

I would like to contine with the a new contract and recoup some of the cost but i need to get paid for what has been already done. They are talking about going to arbitration. What does this entail?

Customer:

The contract hasnt been paid fully because thereis more work to be done and no money to do it.

Dwayne B. :

There is no way to force a new contract. I understand it is what you would like to do, but there is no way to force them to renegotiate the contract. Arbitration is like a mini lawsuit. It is better in some ways because it saves you some money and things move faster. However, the arbitrator cannot order a new contract, all he can do is order that you be paid what is owed or the amount of profit you would have made under the contract and that the contract has been breached and you no longer have to perform under it.

Dwayne B. :

I understand that the contract hasn't been completed.

Customer:

He still owes me for the 10 days time and materials and refuses to pay it until i agree to all his terms. Is this fair? Can i put a lien on the job to prevent it from going foward until I get paid and can he sue me for having to hire new contractors to finish the job, Can he go after me for their cost even though the contract was not fully paid or cancelled? What if the contct shows that there is no profitand doesnt even cover operational cost?

Dwayne B. :

No, it's not fair and there is no reason for you to agree to terms as far as him paying you what he owes you.

Dwayne B. :

You should be able to put a lien at this point.

Dwayne B. :

can he sue me for having to hire new contractors to finish the job

Dwayne B. :

Yes, he can sue you but he shouldn't be successful since he hasn't paid you what he owes you therefore he breached the agreement first. You can't sue someone for breach when you breached first.

Dwayne B. :

Can he go after me for their cost even though the contract was not fully paid or cancelled?

Dwayne B. :

Same answer

Dwayne B. :

What if the contract shows that there is no profit and doesnt even cover operational cost? Then you can't sue for profit that wasn't existent. All you can sue for is what is owed you at this time plus your attorney's fees.

Customer:

So then unless he is willing to negoitiate then I do not have to accept his terms. He has to pay me for the additional time and work.regardless. I finished about 70% of the job so would i be able to get that amount owed to me minus what he has already paid me on the original contract price and who make that determination?

Dwayne B. :

So then unless he is willing to negoitiate then I do not have to accept his terms. Correct, your contract is in place. If he wants to renegotiate portions you can refuse or insist that he renegotiate other parts, in essence redsoing the contract.

Dwayne B. :

He has to pay me for the additional time and work.regardless. I finished about 70% of the job so would i be able to get that amount owed to me minus what he has already paid me on the original contract price and who make that determination? He has to pay you what he owes you. If you can't agree on what that amount is then one of you will have to sue or arbitrate and let the judge decide it.

Dwayne B. :

Did you have additional questions?

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26824
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 17 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR DWAYNE B” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

Also, I’d ask you to consider issuing a high rating (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey as that ensures I can continue to assist people in this category.

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