How do I collect money from ageneral contractorwho will not pay when we only had a verbal agreement?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2010

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How do I collect money from ageneral contractorwho will not pay when we only had a verbal agreement?

I am a subcontractor that just completed a big job in a neighboring town. The GC I worked for and I have a contract for a set price on siding. During the course of working I was asked to bend my own metal and among other things that weren’t on the original contract. I was told to submit a bill at the end. The GC agreed to pay for somethings like metal – normally done at $3 a ft; I asked for $2 a ft; he only agrees to pay $.75 a ft. But other things I did that had to be done in order to complete my job he won’t pay for. What can I do? Someone told me a lein, but he doesn’t own the building.

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Business Law, Maine


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Here is my concern:  do you have a written contract for the siding at all or was it all verbal?  Then the modification to the contract may be an issue.  The fact that he acknowledged some of them by negotiating the bill is a plus, though, in your favor.  You can sue him for the money he owes you, plain and simple.  And even though he may not own the property you can probably still place a mechanics lien on the building.  I would double check with an attorney in your area just to be sure.  It will infuriate the owner to the point that they will also go after the contractor.  Good luck.

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