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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33207
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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We hired a contractor to do some painting and construction

Customer Question

We hired a contractor to do some painting and construction work at our house. He came in for a few days but then started taking days off and not showing up...he has taken money for materials and labor but hasn't shown up in days and does not respond to texts/calls etc.
he owes us close to $2500 which he took for ordering hardwood floors but he never placed the order...what do we do to get the money back from him...he has delayed the project so much and wasted so much of our time. Especially the condition that he left the house in...ripped out floors and carpet. We constantly kept asking him to show up and complete his work as I have little kids in the house who could get this point we just want to get the work finished through another contractor. But the question is....what about the money he owes us? What do we do to get our money back?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..Do you have a physical address for the contractor?.How long has it been since he last did any work?.Is there a written contract with a deadline for completion?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Unfortunately...I don't have an address for the contractor!:( and I also read that I should have had completion dates on the contract but I didn't think of it. He showed up last about 20 days ago. All our completion dates were verbal but obviously he didn't heed to those. The last he texted was that I can go ahead and get the work completed by someone else. Since then I have asked him about the money he owes and given him deadlines on the texts to bring back the money...but with no response.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.
This is the typical "modus operandi" of a shady contractor... cell phone number, no physical address, not licensed or insured, money up front (meaning they have no money to do the job to start out with) and then they disappear...I don't like your odds of getting your money back here because your recourse is to sue him in small claims court for whatever it costs you to have the job finished. But you have to find him to have the sheriff serve him with the lawsuit..With that said, you could threaten to file a criminal complaint for fraud and theft by deception with the local DA if he doesn't return your money... But he doesn't have it and spent it on something as soon as he got it for you....that is what these shady contractors do. So if you can find a sympathetic DA, you can file a private criminal complaint and hopefully he would follow up on it and file a formal criminal charge against the contractor....thanksBarrister

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