The Law Offices of Steven L. Martin handles construction industry legal matters on behalf of clients throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. Not only do we assist building professionals in breach of contract and construction defect claims, we also represent contractors and subcontractors who are victims of fraud or deceptive excuses, helping them recover money owed by homeowners, developers, and others who have received a benefit from their services.
Deceptive Excuses Used to Avoid Paying Contractors
California law limits advance payments to contractors to 10 percent of the total estimated job cost or $1,000, whichever amount is lower. Most construction jobs cost significantly more than $1,000, however, and contractors must use their own credit to buy supplies, hire workers, and cover every other expense of completing a project until they may request payment for work performed or for materials actually delivered to a job site.
This means that a substantial amount of work and money may be expended on a building project before a contractor sees a dime over $1,000. Unscrupulous property owners may try to use fraud or deceptive excuses to avoid paying their contractor, often claiming that they do not approve of the work the contractor has completed, or that they simply cannot pay for one or more of the following reasons:
- The materials used are not as expected or as requested
- The work is not of the quality expected
- The work was not completed in a timely manner
- Our business cannot afford to pay you until our customers pay us
Property owners may use excuses such as these to delay, or totally avoid, payment to a contractor. Mechanic’s lien law provides a remedy for unpaid contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers by allowing them to record a lien on the property at issue that, if unpaid, allows a foreclosure action, and eventually a forced sale of the property. We have extensive experience handling mechanic’s lien claims, always working to protect our client’s investment of time and money in a building project.
Legal Representation with Knowledge of the Construction Industry
At the Law Offices of Steven L. Martin, we understand that a property owner’s failure to make prompt payments can greatly constrict the cash flow for an entire building project. If you are a Southern California contractor who has not received payment for your work based on fraudulent reasons or deceptive excuses, please contact our offices in Los Angeles for a free consultation. We can help you recover the money you are owed.