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Hey all,

I have been painting for some time now and recently took a job doing 2 condos, appeared to be a decent job, new plaster, new ceilings new trim throughout, went in with a contract and a change order, picked up a 33% deposit, ordered the paints and supplies, started work over the weekend, handled a good deal of the prep, march on down to the condo conversion owner’s bank, and wham! The clerk tells me that the signatures don’t match, and therefore can’t cash the check. Hmm. Well well, this is a first.
Call the owner up on the phone, explain, and he goes ballistic. We play phone tag all week, to no resolve.
I walk off the job and say “I wont return until I get the deposit check cashed and a progress payment check. He drags his feet some more, and calls back saying ok I’ll give you what you want. We go to the bank together, I cash both checks. I go back to work and a few days later he calls me and says I had cashed the deposit check and the progress payment check, one of which he put a stop payment on, and that I have committed a felony and that the bank has my name and address and I’ll have to deal with this crime!
What are these people thinking? Painters are morons? Or what?
Worked at the condo late today with a helper get home tonight and rec’d a message from his bank to return their call.
I’m thinking like…in 20 years painting you think you’ve seen it all.
I got a question for you pro’s, am I obligated to fulfill this contract with this clown? We’re about 80% complete, just have a topcoat on a few stairwells and four rooms.
I gotta tell you if I see his face someone is going to need to hold me back.

On the way out of the condos today the carpenter working upstairs asks me if I’ve had any money problems with the owner, he claims he’s behind on two payments to the carpenter and suspects the owners having money problems.

chuck
 

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Chuck he is behind with you and the carpenter... maybe others as well. Do you want to finish the project and hope you get paid? It doesn't sound good with the way he is acting. You may be out some money if you pull off but you may be out more money if you finish. Slap a lien on the property, that will get his attention.
R
 

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So far, it sounds like both sides are honoring the contract even if the method is a bit controversial.

You have your deposit and progress payment thus you are obliged to complete the job before being eligible for the final payment. Stopping at some mid-point will open up a real can of worms as you will have to determine a percentage of the work performed AND provide all of the figures to back it up before you can do anything.

I would complete the job, take lots of pics, and let the battle begin for the final payment.
 

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F-no. No way, no how. You were doing really well right up to the point where the guy called you up and through that felony thing in your face.

I would have either stopped immediately at that point and refunded him the difference if he had over paid on a progress payment and said good bye to him, or just finished up to the work required by the progress payment.

The issue if nobody is out any money is simply specific performance. Nobody is going to sue you for specific performance and win. Sure you have a contract and are obligated to fullfill it, IF YOU HAVE BEEN PAID IN FULL, if you haven't been paid or are even there are no damages on either side, you walk away and let him hire somebody else to finish it.

Anybody who thinks they are going to have a hard time walking away from a moron like that, if they walk away without taking any more of his money then they should just needs to think about all the consumer cases against contractors where the contractor takes a deposit and walks without ever starting. They can't even get those cases solved which are cut and dry. If that's true what leg will this guy have to stand on if all you do is do the work you have been paid for up to now and then walk?
 
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