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Vincent Thomas Pallaci
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Vincent Pallaci’s Answers

270 total


  • I own an out of state construction company that did work in NY State. We filed a mechanic's lien & now need to sue to enforce

    I own an out of state construction company that did work in NY State. We are owed a lot of money & filed mechanic's lien & need to sue to enforce the lien. 1---I was told that my company needs to be authorized to do business in NY, or else tha...

    Vincent’s Answer

    If it is a commercial construction project no license was required to perform the work. In regards to not being a registered entity, you must be registered to pursue a lawsuit. However, in most instances, the Courts will allow you to correct this deficiency during the pendency of the suit (i.e. you can start the suit if timing is an issue and then work on getting your authorization). As other posters mentioned, there may be penalties/taxes to be paid to the State. If you are a corporation you must file through an attorney. Also, if you were an out of State entity filing a mechanic's lien in New York there area some key requirements that need to be met that can invalidate some liens by out of State lienors. You should speak to a qualified construction attorney to make sure that your out of state status did not invalidate your lien (this is a particular issue with regards to the address of the lienor set forth in the lien).

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  • I am a sub-contractor, who is being refused pay.

    I work for a company that sub-contracts from a chain providing flooring. I have completed my jobs as per contract, now I am being refused my pay check (completely ignoring me). The main contractor have received the money from the clients but are r...

    Vincent’s Answer

    It depends on the specific timing of the payment and whether any money remains due under the contract. You MAY have lien rights but not if the main contractor has been paid in full and no money remains due under the contract. In that scenario, there may have been a trust diversion under Article 3A of the Lien Law. Trust diversion claims are very time sensitive. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

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  • Do you need a license to act as a general contractor in New York? If you work without a license, can you still be paid?

    What would happen if you worked without a license? Is there a quantum meruit claim?

    Vincent’s Answer

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    In each of the boroughs of New York City, a home improvement contractor's license is required for work that falls into the definition of home improvements under the NYC regulations. For commercial work, you do not need a home improvement contractor's license nor do you need a general contractor's license. In fact, there is no "general contractor's license" for commercial work in NYC. Instead, you should register as a general contractor with NYC DOB. You will not be able to file any documents with the Department of Buildings without your registration number. So, in short, you need a registration for commercial work but not a license.

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  • Contractor threatens to not complete renovation if I don't pay him more money than agreed upon in our contract

    My contractor and I signed an agreement that he would complete my apartment renovation for $20,000. He is now asking for another $5,000 to complete the kitchen which would be an extra $5,000 over the $20,000 we agreed upon in the signed contract. ...

    Vincent’s Answer

    You need to speak to an attorney familiar with residential construction in NYC. NYC is very particular about the rules for what must be in a contract on a home improvement contract such as this. One of the provisions is a detailed scope of work and a section dealing with change orders. Nobody can answer your question without reviewing your contract and discussing the specific details with you, including the risk and reward of litigating.

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  • Can a Subcontractor file a lawsuit on a payment bond without filing a notice of claim. Subcontractor has contract w/ contractor.

    This is Under Section 137 under NY LAw.

    Vincent’s Answer

    Pursuant to New York State Finance Law Section 137, a subcontractor that has a direct contractual relationship may file a claim against the bond if the subcontractor has not been paid in full within 90 days of last providing labor and/or materials. Notice is not a prerequisite (it is however a good practice). If the claimant has a relationship with the contractor's subcontractor, but no direct relationship with the contractor, then notice must be served within 120 days of last providing labor and/or materials or the claim may (and likely will) be barred. You should speak to a local construction attorney at once.

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  • Home builder is delaying completion and our lease on our apartment is up. Can I seek reimbursement for expenses related?

    We are building with a home builder and have a contract that states "builder will make a reasonable effort to substantially complete the improvements within 120 calendar days from the date hereof (projected completion date), subject to permitted d...

    Vincent’s Answer

    I am not licensed to practice law in Texas so I cannot give you legal advice. But in general I can give you some information that may aid you in seeking legal advice from an attorney in Texas. The type of damages you are referring to as expenses related to the delay can take one of two forms. First, we have delay damages. Second, we have consequential damages. One can include the other but does not necessarily include the other. In most jurisdictions, you can recover consequential damages (things like additional storage costs, additional rent costs, loss of profits, additional carrying costs) unless you have waived them in your contract. You should review your contract and speak to a Texas attorney regarding consequential damages.

    You should also look at your contract regarding requirements for putting the contractor on notice of a claim or a delay. If the contract is silent, put the contractor on written notice of the delay immediately. If the contract says what to do, follow the contractual language. Usually, a term like "substantial completion of construction by __________" doesn't necessarily mean that the project will be completed by the date. Substantial completion can vary by project so it would require a fact intensive analysis in your situation. Some states will require you to state in the contract whether "time is of the essence" or not. You need to speak to a Texas attorney to determine the Texas rules on "time of the essence."

    Speaking to a local attorney right away will give you the best chance to protect your rights and explore your options in dealing with this contractor's delays.

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  • How to resolve false construction complaint filed by a neighbor?

    I am struggling to understand my rights to get a false construction complaint dismissed. One of my neighbors filed a illegal constructions complaint on me by calling 311. DOB inspector came by once and left LS4 on the door. Even though there is no...

    Vincent’s Answer

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    You cannot "get rid" of a complaint. A complaint is just that - a complaint. There is no violation until the inspector performs the inspection and finds that the complaint was warranted and issues a formal violation that you would have to cure. The LS4 simply means that the inspector came by and could not gain access. You are not legally obligated at this point to allow anyone into your home. In many situations, the inspector will never come back and no violation will ever be issued. If you believe there may be problems, contact a local construction attorney to discuss the situation.

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  • Can contractor enlist uniformed police to make unannounced house call at customer's home to collect money for job in dispute?

    Contractor put up fence near gas meter. Did not secure clearance from National Grid. Hit gas line and house and block had to be vacated on emergency basis. Did not rectify damage. Enlisted police to collect monies "due" anyway. Police involved in ...

    Vincent’s Answer

    The police are not debt collectors and this was not proper. After a judgment is obtained against you, the Sheriff may take certain steps to collect a judgment on behalf of the contractor but never at such an early stage.

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  • Can I withhold payment to a contractor because as a result of his negilence the local buildings authorities had issued fines

    Payment being withheld $3000. Fines paid to authorities $6000. Fined for demolition without a permit. Have signed contract that includes pulling all permits for said demolition work

    Vincent’s Answer

    The prior answer is correct, the first place to look is at your contract. In general, fines paid by an owner for conditions caused by the contractor (and for conditions which the contractor was contractually obligated) are a proper back charge to the contractor. Speak to a local construction attorney regarding your specific contract and specific situation.

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  • Hired a contractor to renovate my home. Paid him $50,000 for the 1st phase. He sub'd the work out to another contractor.

    Once our home was demo'd we decided to fire the original contractor and go with the contractor actually doing the work who would be more affordable. When we asked for the unused portion of the $50,000 the contractor said he didn't have it to pay ...

    Vincent’s Answer

    There are many issues here to address. First, you want to read your contract as the prior answers suggest. Second, assuming you do have a right to the funds, you need to pursue those funds. A lawsuit may be needed but cost could be an issue depending on how much of the $50,000 is due back. As for the funds that were supposedly seized from the contractor's account, that seizure was illegal. Under New York law, a contractor must hold all funds received from an owner in trust. Pursuant to Lien Law Section 72, those funds may NOT be subjected to a restraint or levy. As such, the funds were protected. If they were taken, there is a trust diversion claim. How to pursue that is something you need to discuss with a construction attorney. It is too complicated to handle yourself. It is a very time sensitive claim so speak to an attorney at once.

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