My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Va
I have a client who i have built over 11 stores for in the past 6 years. Over that time we have had a trustful relationship. In July 2007 i completed a 187k contract with him that was signed in Nov of 2006. In my contract I have a stop work paragraph tied into my progressive payment plan. However he said to help him out and wait till the land lord pays him his tenant allowance, and then he will finish paying me off with that. I said fine and had all my subs sign the lien waivers so he can open the store and receive the tenant allowance. Well when he finally recieved the Tenant allowance in January of 08 he did not pay me. he sad he the LL took some money for late rent since the store did not open in time.
Due to a fabricator that bailed on the project early on i had to also take on building the massive storefront which set the project back 2 months. There are no late penalties in my contract. However, i agreed to absorb the late rent he was charged. The amount due was 90k and the check he received was 40k. He used the 40k to open a new store. He asked me to wait till 2009 to start getting paid he was going through tough times due to the economy i said fine.
Now in march 2009 he gave me predated checks for about 2k-3k per month to deposit. The first 2 bounced and since then i have called him in advance to inquire if i can deposit a check or not. So far he was able to pay me a total 4k for 2009.
I recently helped him with another quick store (12k project) and he only paid me 50% of that however i am holding on to the lien waivers. I figured if i do not help him he will go out of business and then i will never get paid. I really would like to keep him as a client since we have such a strong history however i am starting to feel insecure in this relationship.
The 90k he owes me is starting to hurt me financially now. I am also stressing and cant sleep much because i have anxiety over the fact that i might never get paid. This is starting to severely effect my health.
Please give me some advise on what my options are.