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Subject: Contractor Stole Money - Debt Collection?
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Author Messages
BethanyW
(Colorado)

Posts:1


07/12/2021 8:27 AM  
I'm in a small (5-unit) HOA in Colorado. A contractor took an $8,000+ deposit from us and never showed up to do the work, despite multiple attempts to contact him and reschedule. We took the case to our local court and won a judgement against him. Unfortunately he had closed the bank account that he had used to cash our check, so we couldn't recover our money that way. We have been looking into debt collectors, but we are having some trouble. Many of them require a larger sum to be owed. The others say that they don't do post-judgement collections, but I can't figure out why. I would think a judgment against him would be helpful. Does anyone have experience with this, or any advice for us? We still really need the work done (it will become a safety issue soon), but that's a lot of money for just 5 of us so it's hard to afford unless we can get at least some of it back. Thanks in advance.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:129


07/12/2021 8:44 AM  
I believe you would be best to hire an attorney and attach any assets they have to fulfill the judgement. The attorney may be then able to file a lien against property.

Collection agencies won't do you much good if the vendor has nothing to lose if they don't pay.

This can take years. Best to find the monies needed to correct the safety issue now that you know about it.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4062


07/12/2021 9:36 AM  
If you're going to hire a debt collector, you need to ask if they do any skip tracing. If so, provide as much information you have on this person - there's no guarantee of anything, but it's a start. I'd also discuss this with local police, as this sounds like a fly-by-night contractor and if he ripped you off, there could be dozens more. If you file a police report, that's no guarantee of anything either, but the information may be combined with other cases and perhaps something will come up.

You didn't say if the $8K was the total amount of the work - if so, the lesson here is to NEVER pay more than 25% upfront. There's no incentive to compete and good contractors know the customer will pay another 25% as the work progresses (depending on the contract terms) and final payment comes AFTER the worksite has been inspected to ensure it's been cleaned up, everything was done according to the contract (which should be in writing and reviewed before it's signed) and there are no liens filed by subcontractors (that should also be part of the contract).
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10364


07/12/2021 11:28 AM  
Debt collectors do not usually collect on these types of judgements. However, you should have filed a mechanics lien against them instead. That would been a better option.

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10364


07/12/2021 11:28 AM  
Debt collectors do not usually collect on these types of judgements. However, you should have filed a mechanics lien against them instead. That would been a better option.

Former HOA President
JanineR
(Tennessee)

Posts:154


07/12/2021 11:55 AM  
Here's a self help link for collecting a judgment in Colorado

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/collectjudgment/

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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Contractor Stole Money - Debt Collection?



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