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Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33245
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I am being pressured to sign a promissory note should I sign

Customer Question

I am being pressured to sign a promissory note should I sign to prevent a lawsuit?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 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..Can you give me a few more details about the back story here?.Do you owe some kind of debt to someone?.Do you acknowledge that the debt is yours?.How long has it been since you paid on the debt?.Do you have any assets that the creditor could come after?.Are you employed?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I do I did but there's a disagreement to the amount that is actually owed.
I believe my last payment on the debt was at the completion of the contracted work and that was in November.
I do have personal assets but this work was done at my business. I am an LLC and it's done on the property that I am currently leasing with intent to purchase.
I am a self-employed owner/operator of childcare center. The location of the business is where I had the contracted work done.Basically I signed the contract for the contractor to come in and renovate the location. I gave him a budget that I had to work with and the contract I signes stated what the budget was supposed to be. He never communicated to me that I had gone over budget. I had been paying on the contract for work throughout thinking I was well within my budget and then the last statement I received after all the work was finished came in 12,000 + over the budget that we had agreed upon. We went back and forth over a couple of weeks with what had occurred and a lack of communication finally I contacted the North Carolina Department of Justice to see if this could be resolved and after going back and forth with them they determined that this was a small claims matter. Meanwhile he went ahead and had his lawyer file a lien against a property that I am renting and he has been sending me emails on and off since then trying to pressure me to sign a promissory note and threatening that the legal fees were going to be astronomical and that it was in my best interest to sign this promissory note. His lawyer has never contacted me directly other than to send me some paperwork about the lien. The contractor has been personally sending me these emails so I'm questioning whether I should sign a promissory note or not.
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Ok, thank you for that information.. Were there any changes made to work orders that caused bill to escalate?.Or did the contractor just underbid the project?.What is the explanation for the overages?.How much was the original budget?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It was a cost-plus contract which he explained to me would help me better stay on budget. Mostly I dealt with his own site contractor during the job and when small changes would have to be made he would say things like I needed to speak to you the owner. I tried on several seperate occasions to have a sit-down with him about where we were on the budget but unfortunately he never responded to my emails and I have those for proof. I also have copies of the emails (after the fact) of him trying to explain why he couldn't provide me with a detailed breakdown of the costs.
His explanation for the overages was kind of lame he pretty much said that I went over budget due to changes that were out of his control and that somehow I was supposed to be responsible for obtaining permits which totally is false. I hired him as a Commercial contractor because of the fact that I knew nothing about obtaining permits and such.The original budget was $40,000
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Ok, you are kind of in a grey area here because if you set a strict budgetary limit, and you have a contract that states this, then if the contractor goes over through his own negligence, then he is on the hook for the extra. However, if materials costs escalated or there were changes to the plans or unforeseeable problems that increased costs, then those are beyond his control and a court would award him any reasonable overages he can prove weren't his fault..So the fact that he is the one contacting you means that he doesn't want to pay his attorney $6-8K to come sue you for $12K and then have to foreclose on the property for another $8K in doesn't make financial sense to do that. .With that said, I think it will boil down to why the overages occurred....whether they were unavoidable or just that the contractor thought he had a blank check... .So in order to "split the baby" I might offer to settle for $4-5K let him come back at 9K and you settle at $6-7 if the cost overruns weren't entirely his fault....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'm glad you said that because I did offer 8000 as meeting in the middle and he rejected it saying he shouldn't have to pay for the overages but now I understand why he's pressuring me to sign a promissory because he wants to try to get as much out of me as he can instead of paying lawyer fees. Please advise I already made this offer so if he's not willing to meet me in the middle what could be my next course of action?
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
At this point, I think I would dig in and tell him that unless your contract states you are liable for any attorney fees, since you have a legitimate gripe about him intentionally going over budget, you aren't going to pay any more than that and he can just pay his attorney and you will let a judge decide what is fair...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you Barrister!Nicole :-)
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
You are very welcome. Glad to help any time...If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me...thanks muchBarrister
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I was going to share your response with my husband later this evening if I had any other follow-up questions would I be able to just respond to this thread?
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Sure, even after rating my service, if you post a follow up comment, it will get to me and I will respond....thanksBarrister