What steps do I take to get my money back from a contractor?

I gave a down payment to pair my garage but no work has been done or parts have been purchased. My calls are ignored or I get excuses when he calls of why he doesn’t have my money.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You'll need to sue the contractor, if he won't honor his obligations and do the work, or return the money to you. You'll be suing for one or more of the following: breach of contract (he agreed to do certain work in exchange for certain pay; he has not done that work) or fraud (he lied or misrepresented to you to get you to pay him, but  had no intention of doing the work). Unfortunately, there is not way to get compensation other than suing; there is no one and no organization which will take care of this for you or look out for  your interests.  If the amount is less than the threshhold for small claims court, you may wish to bring the matter in small claims, where you can represent yourself and avoid the cost of hiring an attorney. Good luck.

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