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- What should a contractor do when the client refuses to pay?

- What should a contractor do when the client refuses to pay?

You get the work in, you get the work out, you get the bill out … but you don’t get the money in. So now what?

Legally you’re probably in the right and your client in the wrong, and you have the legal right to commence a lawsuit, perhaps in conjunction with lien rights. Occasionally this works fine … occasionally. Typically, however, a lawsuit becomes an exercise in damage control, with the righteous recovery being lost to attorney fees, lost billable time and negative karma. And all too often, a fee action is countered with a professional negligence cross-complaint. To the uninitiated, a lawsuit is the first thought; to the sophisticated, the last.

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