Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.
First, don't worry about the threat of any lien. If the contractor were to place a lien, they would not be able to do anything with it unless they filed a suit and prevailed in that suit. Given your facts, they would not prevail, and the court would simply order the lien released. And, if the contractor doesn't timely pursue the suit, the lien will lapse automatically. It's the contractor who is in default here and you are the one with the recourse. What you want to do is raise the stakes on him so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost far more in the end than simply paying you now. Send your contractor a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and demand that he agree to the original contract price plus pay you an amount of money that compensates you for the damages you have suffered due to his failure to timely complete the job. Inform him that if he does not comply with your within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as gross negligence, fraud, and deceptive trade practice causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments being on his record.
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