Can I sue homeowner for forcing personal bankruptcy due to non-payment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue homeowner for forcing personal bankruptcy due to non-payment?

I am a startup small business. I did extensive work on a home and when provided

final invoice for payment, the homeowner refused to pay due to a

Asked on October 14, 2018 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue her for "destroying your credit rating" or "forcing personal bankruptcy" because she didn't do those things. She has no control over your business or personal finances; she did not determine how much savings you had, how many debts or how large they were, your business's cash flow, whether you had other sources of income, etc. There are many small businesses or people who would not be forced into bankruptcy by a failure to receive a $24k payment. There are many, many factors outside this one customer's control affecting the financial, etc. impact on you, but the law does not hold people liable for consequences largely outside their control. 
You can, of course, sue her for all amounts due and unpaid under the contract. You can likely also sue her for money outside the contract but which she owes you to do change orders or additional work she requested, so long as you can sufficiently prove that she requested or approved that work. So your recourse is to sue for the money she owes you for what you did--you just can't get additional amounts for bankruptcy or your credit rating.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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