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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>A customer stopped payment on the final check after he said he loved my work, shook my hand and paid me. I deposited the check and 3 days later find it was stopped.....What do I do

A customer stopped payment on the final check after he said he loved my work, shook my hand and paid me. I deposited the check and 3 days later find it was stopped.....What do I do

ColoradoPayment Disputes

Customer was very intoxicated most of the job. On the second day on the job I went to lunch and he called me very intoxicated, said I was fired, and proceeded to belittle me. I didn't know from day to day what the environment was going to be like. The last day I finished up the job. I told him a 2 ft. piece of bullnose I installed got wet and darkened up. If it didn't lighten up after it dried I would replace it. He said ok and paid me the check . I went right to my bank and deposited it. The customer called and left a message about the piece of bullnose that I could not understand because he sounded very intoxicated. I figured he would sober up and remember our conversation. That was the last I heard until I found out he stopped payment

1 reply

Jan 26, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. Working under those conditions must have been challenging. To recover unpaid amounts, several options will be available. First, if possible, trying to communicate with a property owner to resolve the dispute will always be the best option. If that doesn't work, a demand letter or something a little more forceful may be in order - such as a Notice of Intent to Lien. Sending demands for payment or sending a Notice of Intent to Lien are great ways to speed up payments on problem jobs without actually filing a mechanics lien or proceeding to litigation or small claims court. In Colorado, if a claimant sends a Notice of Intent to Lien and a copy of the unfiled Lien Statement, a claimant can encourage speedy payment while also preserving the right to eventually file a mechanics lien, if necessary. However, a Notice of Intent to Lien and a copy of the unfiled lien statement must be sent to a property owner at least 10 days before a lien is filed. So keep an eye on the deadline to file a lien if you decide to go that route. Litigation or small claims court (if the amount qualifies), as hinted at above, will also be available options for recovery. However, keep in mind that both have their risks, and litigation can be particularly expensive.
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