Bullhead City, AZ asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California

Q: Contract Fraud - Can I be sued for misrepresentation/contract fraud even tho I printed a disclosure on the contract.

Worked as Unlicensed Contractor, and printed disclaimers/disclosures of "NOT A LICENSED CONTRACTOR" on all Quotes and Invoices. The Plaintiff/Customer claims he was unaware that we weren't licensed. Sent customer 3 quotes and 3 invoices all with the disclosure printed on them. I don't know how I could of been more clear.. Plaintiff claims the Quotes are same as Contracts.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James A. Greer
James A. Greer
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in California

A: Dear Unlicensed Contractor: You asked if you can "be sued for fraud" for having operated without a license despite placing "disclosures" of such on your invoices. Unfortunately, making "disclosures" on your paperwork does not obviate the requirement that you have to be licensed for any project over $600.00 in the state of California. To assist your understanding you may want to examine the pertinent statute which is directly related to your situation - California Business & Professions Code 7031(a). When you read this code section you will see that: (1) an unlicensed contractor cannot recovery any monies from the Homeowner/Customer for any of the work performed, and therefore (2) the law allows the Homeowner/Customer the right to sue for what is called "disgorgement" (this means, an action to have monies they paid to you be returned to the Homeowner/Customer). In my opinion the Homeowner's claims are not "fraud" but instead "violation of B&P Code 7031" and "action for disgorgement". Nevertheless, it's a serious claim with serious potential results. You should seek legal assistance.

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