Can you sue a contractor who splits?

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I had a contractor ask me to pay him as he went along. Foolishly, I paid him as we went along, but 20g's later, nothing is finished. He was supposed to put in 2 retaining walls and a couple ponds, a treehouse, patio, that sort of thing.. I have 2 -- 1/2 retaining walls, 2 unfinished ponds, and the yard is a total mess. He even charged up some heavy equipment to my charge card and promised to work off the amount. Of course, that didn't happen. He keeps promising to show up, or send someone else to finish up, but it never happens. It's been a little over a year since he started. Can I pay someone else to finish and sue him in small claims court for what it costs me to complete the job? ( I know where he lives.) I don't want to sue him as he has had a lot of personal problems this year, but I don't know how to get him to finish. I'm in Georgia.
Thanks much, Debbie
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"WoN ereH" wrote in message

him
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The way lawyers twist things around. You probably will get sued for causing his personal problems.
What was he doing using your C/C's? Sounds like you hired a backyard handyman, now you're regretting it. Whoa is you.
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 20:19:23 GMT, "Jerry Smoltz"
[snip]

And woe also ;-)
...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
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My guess is that you hired someone who doesn't really know/specialize in the work you hired him for and he charged you way to little. Now he's walking away from the job for the combination of the following reasons:1) he's in over his head and doesn't have the skill or manpower to finish and can't afford to hire help, 2)there's no more money coming in off the job and he's got bills to pay so other clients (or his day job) are getting his attention. Let me ask you a question, did he start out only working weekends and late afternoons. Does he have a bonifide company with references? What size is the patio, how long and high are the retaining walls, how large are the ponds? and what does "that sort of thing" entail exactly. Also how high and large is the treehouse?
Sounds like you are both to blame, he's unprofesional and you didn't research the guy and my guess is you have received 20K in work (or close to it on a 30-40K job. I could be wrong but this sort of situation happens all the time. Another thing, I suspect that if he did finish he would have done things wrong and maybe it would have cost even more to correct after the fact. Your yards been torn up for a year? wow, I'm surprised you let it go that long! Sue him if you want to, but I think this was destined for failure from the beginning cause your price sounds low for a long list of tasks. THe patio alone can cost 20K if done right (depends on the layout and elevation and type of paver/stone/concrete etc.
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My guess is that you hired someone who doesn't really know/specialize in the work you hired him for and he charged you way to little. Now he's walking away from the job for the combination of the following reasons:1) he's in over his head and doesn't have the skill or manpower to finish and can't afford to hire help, 2)there's no more money coming in off the job and he's got bills to pay so other clients (or his day job) are getting his attention. Let me ask you a question, did he start out only working weekends and late afternoons. Does he have a bonifide company with references? What size is the patio, how long and high are the retaining walls, how large are the ponds? and what does "that sort of thing" entail exactly. Also how high and large is the treehouse?
Sounds like you are both to blame, he's unprofesional and you didn't research the guy and my guess is you have received 20K in work (or close to it on a 30-40K job. I could be wrong but this sort of situation happens all the time. Another thing, I suspect that if he did finish he would have done things wrong and maybe it would have cost even more to correct after the fact. Your yards been torn up for a year? wow, I'm surprised you let it go that long! Sue him if you want to, but I think this was destined for failure from the beginning cause your price sounds low for a long list of tasks. THe patio alone can cost 20K if done right (depends on the layout and elevation and type of paver/stone/concrete etc.
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him
to put

is a

happens.
to
the
lot of

I'm
We all have personal problems-- why do his make you not want to sue? Did he give you a discount because of them?
I'd send someone large over to talk to him first. Tell him he's got 36 hours to show up, seven days to show significant progress and 30 days to complete the job. If that doesn't get results, just sue the bastard!
doc
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On 12 Nov 2003 20:04:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnojunk (WoN ereH) wrote:

If he's truly a registered contractor go to the state registrar of contractors. But if he's just a handyman you be SOL.
...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
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>

Then she's SOL. The great state of Georgia does not license general contractors. The major trades (Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical) and a few others.
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> I don't want to sue him as he has had a lot of

I'm
HE WILL NOT FINISH Debbie, his personal problems should NOT be your personal problems. He has made them yours by stealing your money and taking advantage of your good nature. Sue him, file charges against him for fraud and theft by deception and get on with your life.
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to

the
lot of

I'm
Sure you can sue. You may even get a judgment if you win. That will not force him to finish the job, nor will he pay if he has nothing to pay with. Ed
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You have to sue him or he will put a lien on your property that will have to be settled before you ever sell the house. Good luck collecting, however. I did this, won the case, and it turned out the guy was a "corporation", just changed the name of same, and that was the end of that. It's called the Corporate Veil. Maybe you will be luckier. Pat
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On 12 Nov 2003 20:04:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnojunk (WoN ereH) wrote:

You're in Georgia, I'm in Canada. Different rules, but the principles likely are the same.
If he is indeed a contractor, he has a license. Start with whoever licenses him. If he's a handyman, working out of his back pocket (which he sounds like), it's a different problem.
Can you have someone else complete the work? Yes. To cover yourself, send him a registered letter firing him, and informing him that you intend to have the work completed and to look to him for any expense over and above his original estimate.
Can you sue him? Yes, you can sue anyone for anything. Can you win? Likely. Can you collect? Much less likely from what you've told us.
In your situation, I'd check with a lawyer just to make sure you do the right things in the right order.
Ken
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You can file any suit you want.
The first challenge is to get a judgement. I did this some years ago when a customer asked me out to make keys to her car. I did, and she promised to mail me a check.
Many phonecalls and many excuses later, I filed in small court. She kept reading the list of all the things she was trying to pay off. And promised to send me buck a week or so.
Four dollars and a court date later, I had a judgement.
I never did bother to file at the county courthouse.
The gal did call back and ask why I filed the claim after she promised to pay. Well, simple. I didn't see a penny of her money. I promised not to file if she started to pay me. She didn't, and.....
Now days I don't hand people keys until I see money coming towards me.
--
Christopher a. Young
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to
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lot
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Thanks for the replies. He didn't actually have my CC, the place he rented the bobcat/dozer from had my CC number. He told them to charge some other things for someone else to my card and they did! When I told him we would contact CC company, he insisted he would work off amount (over 2g's). Ha! Well, will tell him we're gonna sue if he doesn't finish in 30 days. Maybe I'll give him 45. Thanks again for your imput..
Debbie
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On 13 Nov 2003 04:23:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnojunk (WoN ereH) wrote:

First thing is to contct the bank/ CC company and get a chargeback on your card. He had no right to charge it to your card, and unless you signed the slip, the merchant is SOL. His fault. Check the lcoal procedure and any contract conditions if any, but send him a letter giving him x days to start work, and Y days to finish. If he doesn't do it, sue him but don't expect to be able to collect. start looking for someone to finish off Been there, done that Geoff
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send him a letter giving him x days to start work, and Y days to finish. Been there, done that
Be sure to send it registered and certified, so in a court case you can prove you sent it to him, and if if comes back unopened (of course you kept a copy) as may well happen, don't open it.
If you really hate his guts, try listing the amount he charged on your CC for another job as "forgiven debt". This is a red flag that usually puts the IRS on someone's tail. zemedelec
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CBHvac Spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and proclaimed

Naw. It's a rusted out brown El Camino. He overweight and smokes cigars...
<Pulls 'roofing' off>
"Today, weer doin winders!"
NOI
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CRAP..I swear...you owe me a keyboard..there was a guy like that here in town...WAS is the key word.

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On 12-Nov-2003, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnojunk (WoN ereH) wrote:

Debbie...
I don't know about you, but I know that I can't afford to pay for someone else's personal problems. Being kind hearted is great and it shows that you are a caring person, but there are limits to what you can do to be kind to someone. In this case, it seems as though it has costed you quite a lot of money, and money is something not easy to get nowdays. You have tried on more than one occasion to get him to finish the job that you have paid him for, and it seems like he's not going to finish. I am a person that is againt all of these sue-happy people we have these days, but in your situation I believe you have no other recourse. File a suit in small claims court and see what response that gets out of him. If he comes and finishes the job, then you can drop the suit. If not, then you get to have your day in court and possibly recover the money it's costed you.
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