If you have heard recent news stories about crooked Utah contractors disappearing after taking money or performing shoddy work, you may be wondering what legal rights you have if you are cheated by a contractor.  If you have been cheated or scammed by a contractor in Utah, the experienced trial lawyers at Hepworth & Associates, can help.

When Can You Sue a Contractor?

You may be wondering whether you can sue a Utah contractor that has been difficult to work with.  In order to have a successful lawsuit, you first must have a breach of contract.  For example, if the contractor told you that your work would be done by a certain date, and then doesn’t finish the work, you probably do not have a lawsuit the day after the project was due unless your contract specified that “time is of the essence.”  Even then, if the contractor has a legitimate excuse – for example, if he was not able to get on the roof of your home due to a snow storm – you may be required to give an extension. If the work was completed, but shoddy, you may also be required to give the contractor a chance to fix the work.  Always be sure to document your concerns in emails or text messages, so that the contractor can’t make excuses that he didn’t know you were unsatisfied or that the work was shoddy.

What If the Contractor Disappears With My Money?

If the contractor has disappeared with your money and you cannot find him to finish the work, suing him may be tricky.  Often, these individuals are difficult to find to serve them court papers.  Serving court papers is a basic requirement when filing a lawsuit, and judges can be unsympathetic to a scam victim’s inability to find the scammer who cheated them out of money. Fortunately, there are court procedures in place that allow victims who were scammed by crooked contractors in Utah to serve court papers on their scammers without having to find them physically.

It helps to have an experienced attorney who is familiar with these court procedures help you if you cannot find the crooked contractor that cheated you.

What About Collecting My Judgment?

Once you get a judgment against a crooked contractor in Utah, collecting the judgment can be even more challenging.  There are court procedures in place that allow you to garnish wages and seize a scammer’s belongings.  Having a lawyer on your side who knows how to use these procedures efficiently can help you recover in a situation like this.

Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Have Been Cheated by a Crooked Contractor?

If you have been scammed or cheated out of money by a crooked Utah contractor, the worst thing you can do is hope that the scammer gets a conscience and decides to finish the work or give your money back.  At Hepworth & Associates, our attorneys know Utah contract law and can fight aggressively to try to recover your money.  If you or a loved one has been cheated by a crooked Utah contractor, please call Hepworth & Associates at 801-872-2222, to schedule a consultation with an experienced contract lawyer regarding your case. — This article was written by Attorney Jennifer K. Zeleny of Hepworth & Associates and Associates, LLC.