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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am an architect in Kansas and cant get paid since the project is in design at this point and I cant file a lien., What other options

I am an architect in Kansas and cant get paid since the project is in design at this point and I cant file a lien., What other options

KansasRecovery Options

My contract states if the project is cancelled for any reason I receive my full fee. I have been paid about 50% to date byt the remaining amount is 3 weeks past due and the client is trying to rewrite the contract to her advantage. Since in design and not construction I cant file a lien and only small claims is out because over $4000. Attorney and collections process? Thank you

1 reply

Jul 13, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. But, if a contract was agreed to, it is likely binding. If the terms of that contract have been breached, pursuing - or at least threatening to pursue - a breach of contract claim can help to compel payment. Sending a demand letter stating that legal action will be taken if payments aren't made might be a good first step, and doing so via an attorney tends to provide a little extra "umph". If that demand is ignored, sending additional demand letters or eventually moving forward with a legal claim is an option. Another option might be to send a Notice of Intent to Lien. As you'd mentioned above - Kansas architects and engineers are only provided lien rights if the project actually commences. So, unless the project eventually gets underway, lien rights might not actually arise. However, if the project is cancelled and doesn't commence, as you'd mentioned, you might be entitled to payment as a result - and legal action could be a fruitful option. But regardless - a Notice of Intent to Lien can help compel payment. Since a mechanics lien is such a drastic remedy, the threat of a lien is often too dangerous to ignore, even when a lien might not even be an option. Ultimately, the best way to illuminate available options may be to reach out to a local construction attorney - they will be able to review the terms of your contract as well as the other circumstances surrounding this project and advise on a plan of action.
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