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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I have an unpaid final bill for a project which includes change orders, however the change orders were not in writing. The contract states changes must be in writing. Changes were agreed on vervally, but without an set dollar amount.

I have an unpaid final bill for a project which includes change orders, however the change orders were not in writing. The contract states changes must be in writing. Changes were agreed on vervally, but without an set dollar amount.

Colorado

Basement finish project. Changes were agreed upon for multiple items, but without set dollar amounts and not in writing. What are my chances to get customer to pay full amount due via a lien on the property?

1 reply

Mar 23, 2018
If change orders are supposed to be made according to a specific process, the nonpaying party could very well dispute any work done pursuant to a change order as unauthorized. In a situation where written change orders are required, it would seem that a very strong argument could be made that verbal change orders were not, in fact, authorized. What's more, since no dollar amount was agreed to, any amount claimed could certainly be disputed. Any inclusion of unauthorized amounts could cause trouble since penalties for exaggerating lien amounts can be steep. Granted, not all mistakes in filing constitute an exaggerated or fraudulent lien - so the risk of including questionable change orders isn't necessarily a black and white issue. More on that idea here: Intentionally Fraudulent vs. Honest Mistakes.
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