What to do if I’m a subcontractor and a GC owes me money?

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What to do if I’m a subcontractor and a GC owes me money?

I am an independent constructioncontractor. I have subed a few jobs for a local friend General Contractor. The current job I started without signing a contract. The GC was suposed to have one but did not. The GC gave me a check for 50% down. This included another subcontractor that I had found to do the tiling. 4 days later the check did not clear and overdrafted my account. They gave me a new check but for only $1200 instead of $2200 which was the amount of the first check. The amount was less because they found someone else to do the tile. The amount difference and check return has caused $495 in overdraft fees on my business account and will leave my account in a negative balance until the end of the week.

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You sue the GC: if someone violated an agreement, even an oral (verbal) agreement to pay you, the way to get your money is to sue that person for breach of contract. You can look to recover not just the amount the GC agreed to pay you, but also other out-of-pocket costs or losses you incurred due to that person's actions, such as overdraft fees caused by bounced checks. One option is to sue in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney and save on legal fees.


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