What is more effective for an unpaid contractor – filing a lien, taking the customerto small claims court, or both?

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What is more effective for an unpaid contractor – filing a lien, taking the customerto small claims court, or both?

I am a general contractor. My company installed home improvement products on a customer’s home. The total job was for $7516. They paid down $3000 They owe a balance of $4516. They claim that their insurance has paid them for the work but that they spent the money on something else.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The most effective way for you as a licensed general contractor to get paid by your client for services and materials rendered for a work of improvement where $4,516.00 is presently owed is to lien the property and then file an action to foreclose on the lien.

Potentially a small claims action will allow you to foreclose on the lien where you can also sue for breach of contract and common counts.

Another option is for the client to sign a promissory note to you agreeing to the debt with a stated monthly payment to you so you do not have to go to court.

Good luck.


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