How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37356
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Crooked contractor breach of contract

Customer Question

Crooked contractor breach of contract
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year 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..I think your comments and your legal question may have gotten cut off as this is all that I see:.""Crooked contractor breach of contract"".If you can tell me what state this is in and give me some more details about your situation and your legal question, I will try to help....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hired a contractor to do some renovations last October 2015. He gave us an estimate of 31,000. We paid him 12,000 upfront and 2500 every two weeks until job completed time for November.
He said he would have all completed by November thanksgiving. He continued to ask for money Avery two weeks on schedule for project to be completed . We started to notice that he would order things like windows and moldings without asking us on what types or colors. We had to speak with him to be clear that we wanted to be the ones on making all decisions regarding our home. Then we wanted to make some changes on renovations and asked how much more this would cost and he told us for the changes we wanted it would cost additional 15,000 for the changes. The time estimate for completion was added and the date was 1/30/2016. We started to notice he was taking 3 hr lunches and leaving at 3 pm. He would only give us 3-4 hr work days and then claimed he had lawyer issues and IRS issues, dr visits, wendsday therapies that he all of a sudden had... Project delayed and delayed . We only had 1 toilet and faucet in 1/2 bathroom downstairs for 3 months... had to take showers at ymca and relative homes. He then asked told us he "low balled us" and needed an additional 3000 for his work because he was living day by day with bills. We realized that he cannot manage his funds... we asked for receipts on all and they amounted to 15,000 total that he spent... We paid the rest of all materials and paid him additional find bi weekly for the next two weeks so that the job could be completed and he would have funds to return to work. He had complained that he did not have 20 dollars to leave his driveway. Now it is May 9 and... We still have no shower, our back yard has become a dumping ground for garbage and wood piles, our home has dust everywhere , his tools all over the place , papers boxes garbage, have completed work! He said last week that he had to take another job and would complete ours when he completes that one first since he has no money. We have paid him total 52,000 .... We have paid for the project a total of 78,000 with the additional materials NOT included the eating out and laundry costs since October 2015 . We have his tools that he left locked up in the garage and are FED UP!!! He now wants to come by and pick up tools... We have not responded because we want to sell his tools !!!! I know you will probably say we can't but what can we do!!!!
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
I hate that you are in this situation as it is kind of the textbook bad contractor story... And you are unfortunately correct that you can't hold his tools legally. You can do so, just not legally, and force him to try and sue you in court to get a judge to order you to return them. .Meanwhile, you can countersue him for breach of contract, but to be honest you won't get anything because these people are deadbeats and live "hand to mouth" with no assets. Your money went to pay his truck payment, house payment or rent, other bills and other debts from other jobs so he has nothing to show for what you paid him..So at this point, you are kind of stuck and will be forced to contact someone else to finish the job. I would make it crystal clear that if this guy sets foot on your property, you will call the police and have him arrested for trespassing and contact the local DA to file criminal fraud charges... A DA likely wouldn't take the case and tell you that it is civil, not criminal, as a breach of contract claim, but that might scare him into leaving you alone..Then if you sold his tools, you could recover some portion of what he owes you, just as long as you know that legally you would be in the wrong here, although practically, there is not much he can do about it...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well.... That is about what I thought but I did need to hear it from an attorney. Thank you Barrister.
I believe I will sue him and call the BBB and the state licensing for contractors. I will give the honest review on-line and count my loss.
Thank You Again
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, even if the news is lousy...And getting a judgment against him in public and on the public records may prevent someone else from getting ripped off in the future....And you might want to check with the state licensing board to see if there is any chance he is insured....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. I did check and apparently he is licensed but will check to see if he is insured. Great idea!
Thank You
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome... fingers crossed for you...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