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Your friend has no responsibility to do so. He competently performed the work asked of him at their direction and they cannot now refuse to pay him because their decision did not work out as hoped. His job was to do what they asked; the fact that they now regret their decision is their issue, not your friend's issue; and he has no obligation now to prep and paint at his cost. If the homeowner refused to pay, he should file a suit against him in small claims
court. That will give your friend the collection options and leverage he needs to collect what is due him. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, your friend becomes a judgment creditor
, and if the homeowner doesn’t then pay the judgment, your friend can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, your friend has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any real property owned to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons one is being sued, the homeowner is going to want to pay your friend rather than spend further time and expense defending a suit he cannot win.
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