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When did you substantially complete the work?
What I suggest you do is tell the contractor and the homeowner that if you are not paid, in full and it once, you will register a lien on title.
You can register a builder's lien on title to the property so long as you do so within 45 days of having substantially completed the work.
You then have 180 days more to start a lawsuit.
A lien is a powerful tool so you should use it. Just the threat of the lien is likely going to be enough to get you paid.
Let me know if you need any further clarification.
The homeowner is only going to be liable to you up to the holdback amount.
It may be worth your while to have a lawyer send a letter to the homeowner and to the contractor if the contractor can be found as this may in itself work.
Registering the lien may work as well. So wht don't play it by ear and see what transpires in the next while.
They will have no basis for suing you so long as you are owed money for the work you did. The law is clear in terms of your rights.
Yes that is correct.