Kansas City isn’t that big of a place. Remember that the next time you have some work done by a contractor on your home, or if you are a contractor doing the work. The next time your out in public you might run into that person. Will you have the “glad to see you again” conversation, or the “that no paying/crappy contractor owes didn’t pay.”
I had this happen to me today. My former company had done a small job (resealed some concrete) for a guy that we had done a pool deck for a few years back. It was a maintenance job, and we are happy to do it since he was a past client and was great to work with in the past. With this being said we did the job for about 25% less than normal. Long story short he never paid us and was unresponsive to letters, calls, and emails. We didn’t know what kind of financial situation he was in, but we were willing to let him make a couple payments if needed. By the way the job was for around $800 and the house was a 750k dollar house. He had the money, but made up every b.s. excuse in the world. Whatever, nothing a lien wouldn’t solve. Months down the road he sold his home and we were paid by the title company on closing.
Nearly a year later, today as a matter of fact, I bumped into him at the health club. You could tell he felt like a jackass and even said he would have paid us if he knew it was “only going to be that much”. We did everything, but hire the Goodyear blimp to let him know.
The point is make sure that you can walk around town and not worry about running into people. This goes for both homeowners and contractors. All too often we hear people take little issues and blow them out of proportion without trying to sit down like adults and work through them. Remember…things happen on jobs and in peoples lives that can change the coarse of events rather quickly. Its best to sit down and talk about it than to rush off to file a lien or call your attorney. Its probably best that you hire or do the work for people you feel comfortable with in the first place. If you have a bad feeling it’s best to walk away.