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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I signed a contract with a contractor who i found out through

Customer Question

I signed a contract with a contractor who i found out through Michigan licensing, That he does not have one. Am i responsible for any additional monies that i might owe him? Also if he is not legal, can he put a lien on my house? Can i sue him for the ammount i already paid him, plus, lawyer fees and court costs?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
By its terms, MCL(###) ###-#### ***** 18.425(2412) prevents an unlicensed contractor from suing to collect a money judgment. Parker v McQuade Plumbing & Heating, Inc, 124 Mich. App. 469, 471; 335 N.W.2d 7 (1983). An unlicensed contractor also cannot collect on a counterclaim. However, this statutory language does not deprive an unlicensed builder of all rights. Barbour v Handlos Real Estate & Building Corp, 152 Mich. App. 174, 184; 393 N.W.2d 581 (1986). In Parker, the Court held that the statute was intended to protect the public as a shield, not as a sword, and, therefore, does not prohibit an unlicensed contractor from defending a breach of contract suit on its merits. The statute removes only an unlicensed contractor's power to sue, not its power to defend.
The contractor couldn't lien you or sue you absent being licesed. And you could sue him, but he could defend the matter - for example if you sue him for breach of contract he could present evidence that he completed the job in spec. You would be able to collect back everything you paid him plus consequential damages if you won.
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