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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16720
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Real Estate Law Mentor
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Tonight I had a general contractor who has just completed a

Customer Question

Tonight I had a general contractor who has just completed a renovation for me...come to my home and demand an 'off contract" payment he claims I had promised to make. Our agreement---of which I am now looking at as I type, clearly says,"...balance due
upon closing..." as we had both agreed that the would be paid when the sale of the house closes. But now suddenly he claimed today that I had promised to pay him several thousand dollars for some extra costs he had incurred........this is a bold-faced LIE.
When I told him we made no such agreement, so then threatened to file a lien against the house and said he would also charge me extra for "forcing him file the lien." Question #1: Can he force me to pay him by filing a lien----isn't this extortion..?.? Question#2.
Can I take any action against him..?.?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** will be happy to answer your question.
I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Unfortunately, many general contractors use their ability to place liens on the property subject to their work and while it is not generally considered to be "extortion", if such lien is placed without any legal grounds, i.e. the home owner did not breach written agreement with the contractor and is not delinquent on any fees or costs according to the written contract with the General Contractor, then if the contractor does place such frivolous lien, property owner can hire an experienced local attorney to get the lien removed and also to pursue a claims against GC for placing a cloud on the property title.

You can find an experienced and skilled local real estate law attorney by using this established and reputable attorney information / referral websites:
When, choosing a local attorney to represent you, it would be a good idea to choose someone who has a practice exclusively dedicated to real estate law, has at least 10 years of experience and handled similar matters and also regularly practices before the court located in the jurisdiction where your matter will be heard.
I wish you the best of luck!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir, You read my explanation and/or circumstance. Our contract---which bears HIS signature, clearly states that he is to be paid at the closing of the sale of my property. Secondly. His claim is based upon what he says was a verbal promise which is a LIE. Forget my characterization of extortion. The bottomline: Is...or is not, what he is attempting based upon the facts provided...actionable..?. Yes or No. I just want to be absolutely clear. Thank you.....
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

While I cannot comment on your specific question, generally, similar matter would be considered a civil matter and if the General Contractor is refusing to comply with the terms of the written contract, then the consumer can in fact file formal complaint against the contractor with Washington State of Labor and Industries which regulates general contractors at this link and also with the local Better Business Bureau, as well as, local attorney can be consulted to help pursue any lawsuit for breach of contract.

I wish you the best of luck!

Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions?
If not, please positively rate and accept my answer, so I can be compensated for my work.
Thank you.