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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I have paid an unlicensed contractor $44,000 for contracted work he now refuses to complete. I am desperately trying to get my house in order to list for sale. Without a finished job, the issue of listing my house becomes another potential financial detriment. Is there immediate recourse, like asking a magistrate to issue a warrant for arrest for taking money for a job he didn’t do?

I have paid an unlicensed contractor $44,000 for contracted work he now refuses to complete. I am desperately trying to get my house in order to list for sale. Without a finished job, the issue of listing my house becomes another potential financial detriment. Is there immediate recourse, like asking a magistrate to issue a warrant for arrest for taking money for a job he didn’t do?

North CarolinaLawsuitLicensesRecovery Options

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Jun 20, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm really sorry to hear that you've had so much trouble with this job.

As far as immediate recourse, filing legal claims against an unlicensed contractor or reporting the contractor to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners or to the Attorney General's office might be a good start. Through legal action against a contractor, it might be possible to recover at least some of the payment given them. Plus, if a judgment is won, the North Carolina Homeowner's Recovery Fund ensures that at least some payment can be recouped.

Criminal penalties may be appropriate, too. Contracting without a license can result in civil and criminal penalties, and taking off with unearned funds could also create additional liability. However, while these penalties may be warranted, and while it might serve as justice when a contractor - an owner might not be made financially whole with criminal penalties alone. Still, seeing a bad acting, unlicensed contractor get what they deserve is often worthwhile - both to a property owner, and to the community at large.

But, every situation is different - and what's appropriate for one situation might not make sense in the next. In order to get the best look at your potential options, it'd be wise to consult a local construction attorney who can review your circumstances and documentation. Upon review, they'll be able to determine what option makes the most sense for you and advise on how to proceed. If you're looking for an attorney to review your case and advise on next steps, Avvo.com can be really helpful.
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