Help with payment when I didn’t file the Preliminary Notice
Hi – I have a very difficult client who is resorting to finger-pointing and lies to get out of paying our last 2 invoices. I was just informed of mechanical liens. In reading up, it seems as though I need to file a notice within 45 days of beginning work, which of course I have not done since I am just learning of liens now.
I was chatting with you online and was told to send this email to get a response from a lawyer with help and my rights.
I own a design company. I am a licensed LLC. But I do not hold a professional license such as a licensed contractor, plumber, architect etc.
The project is nearly complete. Mid-August we hit pause on our design work because they were out of money but they continued to ask us questions along the way, they just did their best to reduce the communication so as to save money. They took on getting the marble themselves but I informed them that I would still send them an invoice for the work we had done on the marble to-date and then one final/large invoice on the project for our hours. They are reducing our efforts with things like “it’s easy to send an email to a vendor” and “we barely even ask you any questions now.” Things that are not tangible, and are rude. We initially said we would pre-bill buckets of hours that they’d pull from. Well, they blew through all of those hours in only a couple of weeks so we started invoicing traditionally (invoice after hours incurred). Now they are using that as their tactic to saying they didn’t agree to the hours, which I find humorous because they’re the ones that keep calling/texting, etc. I do not wish to get into an arguing match and finger-pointing like they are doing. I simply wish to follow the law by sending them notices asking for payment, and stand our ground by invoicing fairly for the hours we spent on their project.
I have also already given them $5000 (I’ll double-check that number) of free labor hours, all of which I’ve tracked in previous invoices I’ve sent them and that they’ve paid. They also keep adding on scope with the contractor, and asking him to keep giving them additional work so I know they have money, they just don’t wish to pay us for our time as it isn’t a physical element in their space.
I am in the state of MN.