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What right as a home owner have to protect themself if the contractor ask unreasonable amount of money for the work and then file a lien.

IllinoisPayment Disputes

I have a contract to do my patio and path the front path as well. I paid deposit and then provided the Credit card to the contract to pay the full contract before work. Then I was out of country. When I came back, I found out the contractor charged the full amount the second time without deduct the deposit. He said he refund me back but never did. He also said the build new steps was not part of the contract and he need to charge me on it. I asked him how much and he never give me a quote anyway. Build a step when add a patio is stand process to comply with building code. Now he is charging me at least double amount of the price. If I knew this is the price before, I won't do it. Now he threaten me will put a lien on my house and I still have not get a written invoice. What right I have and how can I protect myself. Thanks Roxanne

1 reply

Nov 13, 2017
Hi Roxanne! I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Regarding the threat to file a lien, Illinois has harsh penalties for those who file, or even attempt to file, fraudulent liens. Even if the contractor has merely overstated amounts and then attempts to file a lien claim on those amounts, they could face considerable penalties. Not long ago a party who attempted to file a fraudulent lien in Illinois found themselves facing fines and probation - and that lien wasn't even recorded. If you think you have been defrauded by the contractor, you can bring it to the attention of your State's Attorney or the Illinois Attorney General's Office. The Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act (HRRA) provides significant protection for homeowners who have been defrauded by a contractor, and the HRRA can also be used as an affirmative defense if your contractor files suit. At this point, it's incredibly important that you compile the information relevant to this dispute (i.e. your contract, any receipts for payment or proof of payments made to the contractor, all communications you've had with the contractor).
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