contractor got paid and quit before job was finished

3 months ago

I am a homeowner and I had hired a friend who is a contractor to remodel our home . He has a business and was not able to work during the corona virus . We hired this contractor and gave him a deposit of 7,000 cash ( he had requested cash ) to buy supplies. and then he came back wanting more money saying he needed to pay bills and we gave him 14,000 . The original estimate / contract is only for between 18.400- 19.400 and we over paid him since the original estimate did not include framing out garage lien to and he do extra framing on a bathroom door. He has now quit working on the home and has threatened to put a mechanics lien unless we pay up another 5,000. We have no signed contract of any kind. We have been asking for a breakdown of the bill of what was paid and what he is claiming we still owe. We have no tax ID number and will give us a detailed bill of the supplies purchased. We have been receiving threatening texts . We have damage that this contractor has done to our home.
We have given him a total of 21,000. What can I do in this case . Please help.
We are trying to sell our home and he knows this and says he will file a lien unless we give him the money but, he says he is not providing us with a detailed bill. Bottom line is he was a friend that we trusted.

Additional info about this contractor
Project Type: Residential
Senior Legal Associate Levelset
446 reviews

Mechanics lien rights are generally only available to the extent that work has been performed but not paid for. So, if your contractor has received more than what they’re owed, they generally won’t be able to file a valid and enforceable mechanics lien claim. With that being said, it’s still possible that they could get the claim filed in the property record since county recorder offices have neither the bandwidth nor the authority to investigate each claim that’s made.

If a mechanics lien is improperly or fraudulently filed, it’s possible that serious penalties could come into play. But, it could still create headaches for an owner and it’s generally easier to avoid the issue altogether. Plus, there’s a difference between fraud and an honest mistake – and it’s possible that an issue with the lien claim wouldn’t automatically lead to damages.

One option might be to threaten legal claims against the potential claimant to force them to stand down. Sending a demand letter – potentially via attorney – will show the claimant you won’t back down and that you’re willing to do what it takes to fend off the lien claim. Another option, if a lien does get filed, will be to bond off the lien. That won’t make the lien go away altogether, and it won’t be the cheapest option out there, but it could at least facilitate the sale of the property.

In any event, if your contractor is taking advantage of you and is threatening a lien claim, it might be time to consult a local Indiana construction attorney for help. They’ll be able to more thoroughly review your circumstances, identify potential legal claims against the contractor, then advise on how best to move forward. These articles may be helpful, too: I Just Received a Mechanics Lien Threat – What Should I Do Now?; and (2) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.

This contractor has been sending threatening emails to me, my wife and son . We tried t file a restraining order and was denied and was told harassment in not grounds for a restargrounds for a restraining order


we had to hire another contractor to fix things the 1st contractor did not do correctly and never completed.. Our attorney is out of the office until this coming Monday too.

Your answer or comment:
Are you a Registered Expert?
You are not logged in and will be posting
anonymously. Log in Now
Get answers from construction attorneys and payment experts
120 Character Limit