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I want to take legal action against a person who owes me money for construction work. How should I proceed?

Philadelphia, PA |

This construction work was finished by December of 2013, four months have happened and this individual has not paid the balance. I have tried several times to meet up with him to come to a agreement, but he keeps delaying meetings and does not give adequate attention the situation.
The money that I am intending to collect, is due to labor and various construction materials I bought out of packet.
As far as I know, there have not been any issues with the work done and everything was completed as requested.
I would like to collect the full balance and any other amount I could collect for my labor, time and inconveniences I have had dealing with this individual.

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Attorney answers 2


Dear Philadelphia - you need to confer with a lawyer about liening the project to pressure the owner to pay. Depending on how much you are owed, you can sue or get a lawyer to sue for you. Do not wait - the mechanic's lien laws are very strict about time requirements - good luck.


From my years of construction experience, it seems like you may have a number of remedies. First, if this is a private project subject to the PA Prompt Pay Act, you can obtain attorneys fees and penalty interest, if the person is arbitrarily and vexatiously withholding this money. You also have the right to file a lien against the property that benefited for the work, but you are running out of time to do that. A lien can also catch the attention of the property owner because lenders and others who may have the property securing other debts take issue with liens. You also have your typical breach of contract claims. If this was a residential dwelling though and you did not comply with the home improvement contractor law, your remedies may be more limited, but you are still entitled to payment for the work and materials provided. you should send a letter to the party stating that you intend on taking some action unless paid by a date certain

This response is only general and preliminary in nature and is not intended to serve as any legal undertaking, representation or advice until all facts are disclosed and representation is formalized.

Robert John Carey

Robert John Carey


I agree, you need to meet with an attorney quickly as time is running on some of the remedies (depending on whether you are a contractor on the job or a sub).

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