What to do if I paid a deposit for material to a tile shop last year for a project that was supposed to start this year but didn’t?

I tried to contact them to get the tiles. The project got delayed indefinitely, so I figured out that they are out of business. I have paid the $1,600

Asked on February 9, 2015 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the delays were not due to the shop's actions, then the agreement and deposit still stand--as long as they are willing and able to go foward and provide the tile when you tell them to, they can still keep the deposit and you'd have to pay the balance when they deliver (or otherwise as per the terms of the agreement of sale). If they don't/can't/won't fulfill their obligations now, you could likely sue them to get the money back.

If the delays were due to the shop, then they likely breached their contract, you don't need to keep working with them, and can sue for the deposit back.

If they are out of business and if they were an LLC or corporation, however, then it is not likely you'll ever get the money. If it was an LLC or corp., you can only sue the business itself; but if the business doesn't exist and/or has not income and assets, you won't collect. If the business were not an LLC or corporation, you can sue the owner(s) personally.


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