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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I have had some decking erected and am now in dispute with

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I have had some decking erected and am now in dispute with the builder re the number of hours worked: shoddiness of finished product and as there was never a written contract: only a verbal "estimate" which they are now denying, it is turning in to a you said:I said argument.. They are now threatening to send me to the debt collectors unless I pay outstanding amount immediately. What can I do now, can't afford to get legal advice as outstanding debt they are claiming is $896 and I am offering less than half as will need to get another builder to finish job & rectify botchups? Help?

Thank you for your question.

In this situation, what you actually have is a breach of contract. The builder verbally contracted with you to build the deck. The builder did not build the deck according to his promise, did not uphold the implied warranty of good and workmanlike quality, and is now attempting to charge you more than was agreed. You have stated that you will have to hire another contractor to fix the mess.

You can sue the contractor in small claims court asserting a breach of contract and claiming the extra amount it will cost you to actually fix the deck. If you win, you can use this to defeat any claim for debt collection which is later attempted by the contractor (assuming that the contractor would attempt to fraudulently collect a debt). If you win, the small claims judgement will say that the contractor breached the contract and owes you money. This means there can be no legal debt collection.

Please let me know if you have further question. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating does not cause an additional charge and will not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
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