Taking a case to a small claims or civil court

3 Replies

Hi all, I would like to get some opinions from people who may have had a similar experience.

I hired a general contractor to work on a $30,000 rehab job.  $15,000 was provided upfront as part of 203K loan.  He did about $6,000 worth of work per bid, though he claimed it actually took $8,000.  Even at $8,000, there’s $7,000 of work remaining, with nothing to show.  At one point GC mentioned he didn’t have money, and would need more.  It was clear he spent my money on something else.  He tried to resolve it, but the communication continued to be poor, so I terminated the contract.  

Now, I’m at a point where I almost accept the $7,000 - $9,000 loss.  However a few of my friends mentioned that I should take him to court and get the money back.  That brings me to here.  

I do know that he has no W2 income, so we cannot garnish his wage.  He is also not paying rent according to the landlord.  Basically, he has no money to return now.  

With above in mind, what should I expect if I were to seek legal counsel and potentially take him to court?  

take him to court.  you will end up with a Judgement and this you can deduct as a loss in your taxes.  (I'm not an accountant, please check with a CPA).   also, this helps over investors who do due diligence on contractors.

this way, you can repo his beat up truck, if you really want to :)

I got burned also this way, and ever since always run a search on civil courts on prospective solo contractors, to see if they have been sued before.  

Originally posted by @Maurice D. :

take him to court.  you will end up with a Judgement and this you can deduct as a loss in your taxes.  (I'm not an accountant, please check with a CPA).   also, this helps over investors who do due diligence on contractors.

this way, you can repo his beat up truck, if you really want to :)

I got burned also this way, and ever since always run a search on civil courts on prospective solo contractors, to see if they have been sued before.  

Thanks for the input.  Would you recommend speaking with a real estate attorney, or a general claim attorney?  

for that amount, small claims.   easy to file, and chances he won't show.   I've done small claims once and won due to no show.  even if he shows, he won't be able to defend his position if you have contracts/photos of what he did etc.

you do the claim yourself.