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My customer is not paying me my final contraction draw.

West VirginiaChange OrdersPay ApplicationsPayment DisputesRecovery OptionsSlow Payment

I am a small company 3 employees, we built a house for a customer and it took us about 2 years do to unforeseen company problems. But now that we are finished we sent the final invoices to the customer and yes it is over budget mostly due to the customer selections. He will not respond to any attempts we have made to collect your money or even talk to us.This is a 2nd home for him so I don’t know when he is there and when he is not. This is a lot of money and is crushing my company. Any advice you could give us would be a great help. Thanks

1 reply

May 28, 2020
When payment is coming slowly, leveraging mechanics lien rights can be a really effective way to force payment. Before doing that, though - sending formal invoice reminders to the customer might be enough to spur payment. If a simple reminder isn't enough, though, turning up the heat might do the trick. Mechanics liens are the most powerful way to force a customer to pay what's owed. That means merely threatening to file a lien claim is powerful, too. So, sending the customer a Notice of Intent to Lien can be a strong way to force the customer to take you seriously and come to the negotiating table. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts as a warning shot - it tells the customer that if you aren't paid and paid soon, that you'll have no choice but to file a lien claim. More on that tool here: What is A Notice of Intent to Lien And Should I Send One? Threatening a lawsuit could be effective, too. If the customer hasn't paid what's owed, they could be liable under claims like breach of contract. Since nobody wants to deal with a lawsuit, threatening one with a payment demand letter might force the customer to talk deal.

Filing a West Virginia mechanics lien can lead to payment

Mechanics liens are generally considered the nuclear option, but they're there for a reason. And, liens are specifically designed to force payment for construction work. So, if the customer still refuses to make payment, pursuing a mechanics lien claim is certainly an option. For more background on mechanics lien claims and how they work in West Virginia, these resources will be really helpful. - How Do Mechanics Liens Work? 17 Ways a Lien Gets You Paid - West Virginia Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs - How to File a West Virginia Mechanics Lien | A Step-by-Step Guide

Other recovery options

Obviously, mechanics liens are just one way to force payment. Pursuing litigation, taking the dispute to small claims court, or even sending the debt to collections could all be effective options, too.

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