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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Texas and Colorado
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    1

    Default Backcharging Contracts

    My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Texas

    What are the laws for protecting Subcontractors from Contractors taking money they want to backcharge off of a job that has nothing to do with the problem job? (i.e. - 'robbing one to pay another')

    I thought there were laws that state they cannot do this. Have the laws changed?

    Detail: There were problems on a job due to the Contractor's representative (Superintendent) giving the workers (subcontractors) incorrect information - and insisting they do the work 'their way'. The result was 'bad work' and the subcontractor was fired, even though following orders from the Contractor's rep. Then this company deducted monies from that job off of another (good) contract that had nothing to do with the 'bad job' and also fired this subcontractor from the good job as well, without cause.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,388

    Default Re: Backcharging Contracts

    I'm not aware of any laws that would permit that. If they owe you money and won't pay, sue them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Backcharging Contracts

    You have to have money to hire an attorney to sue - I think the larger Contractors COUNT on you not being able to do that...

    Does anyone out there know the acutal laws regarding this?

    This has happened to us before on several occassions as well. One attorney told us he would simply never work for those types of contractors, however, when you have already done the work and have no idea they are going to do that, you can't go in reverse. Plus with the economy the way it is - you take what work you can get.

    I would suggest to file a LIEN on the job first if your draws are not paid in full by the end of the job. Or perhaps a pre-lien before the end of the job?

    Anyone ??

    Just wonder what a JUDGE would say in court on this issue. Sounds like theft of services to me ? - robbing one contract to pay for another.... At least not very ethical. How could anyone keep straight books if they start doing this on too many jobs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Backcharging Contracts

    I'm in the rental business on my own for many years, and I also pay contractors where I work now, and I never heard of a law where you cannot deduct from a contractor. I know contractors, and subcontractors, can file a "mechanics leins" if work done and not paid for, but as far as I know, that would have to be on something tangible, like real estate or a car. I've done contracting work on computer systems, and as far as I know, I can't put a mechanics lien on a "file server" as far as I know.

    As someone who used contractors, as well as subcontractors, I had my share of bad work done through the years, and it would be inconceivable for someone in the business like me for over thirty years, and NEVER encountered a bad contractor. Right?? However, few contractors who done poor work ever admit they done poor work, and I've been kicking myself through the years for mostly paying them just to get rid of them. On the other hand, I know of many friends of mine that does not follow this "kind and gentle approach" of mine.

    Then, I've been following many of the "court TV" series on TV these days, and it seems that if someone PAID a contractor for work done, and if the work is done poorly, then either out of pity, or out of the desire to get the deal over with, the bill is paid, then, if something really went wrong with the job later on, the customer is put in a untenable position of trying to obtain either a refund or seek some remedy. Usually, the argument goes, "the customer is happy with the work, and in fact, he paid in full". And why would he if the job is bad?? And the judge would give the contractor's customer this look, and say "so if you say the job is so bad, then why did you pay him"??

    And as bad as I feel for a contractors that's not paid for work done, what remedies does a customer have if the work is really bad?? Seems if you paid, just to be a nice guy "you're legally scr#wed".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,313

    Default Re: Backcharging Contracts

    Does anyone out there know the acutal laws regarding this?
    it's called contract law.

    We have no idea what is in any germane contract. If the contract allows it, then it's fine. If it doesn't, then withholding money from one job against backcharges on another is questionable but without the contracts involved there is no way to determine if any of it is allowed or not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Backcharging Contracts

    Quote Quoting Subcontractor2
    View Post
    You have to have money to hire an attorney to sue - I think the larger Contractors COUNT on you not being able to do that...

    Does anyone out there know the acutal laws regarding this?

    Anyone ??
    I was thinking back to a time when I owned an auto repair business, and we often send work out to subcontractors, and then other shops subcontract work out to us, particularly, "alignments".

    So we send work to this specialist for electronic diagnoses and repair, he did the work, we paid him, now the customer of ours complains that he had the same problem as before, in fact the problem is worst. The electronic shop now tells us that it's got nothing to do with what he did, we gave him bum information, yet another repair is needed, my customer tells me forget about it, we're the specialist, we should know what we're doing the first time around, and my customer wants his money back, and then take his car elsewhere to have it done right.

    Can I blame the customer??

    Meanwhile, we have another car being done by this same guy. This job turned out OK, and we owe him the money.

    Now it seems from arguments by the OP that we CANNOT deduct money from the second job, we have to pay this subcontractor in FULL for the second job, and TOO BAD on the first job, and we're left holding the bag.

    Now, we'e told we have to go to small claims to get our money on the first bad job, because according to the OP, the law is that the second job has nothing to do with the first job.

    Now, when we do subcontracting oursleves, for alignments, if someone said we did a bad job on a prior one, he wants to deduct on the second one, that's fine with us. We see our commercial customer as ONE customer, not a collection of odd jobs or contracts, where one bad job has nothing to do with another good job. We stand behind our work, and our customers satisfaction comes first.

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