Aubrey, TX asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Texas

Q: My contractor abruptly stopped work 3 weeks ago and is unreachable. How do I proceed?

Homeowner in Texas. I contracted with (name withheld) for concrete and electrical work. I paid 50% upon signing. Work started 5 weeks after the estimated start date. They worked 3 days (some light excavation) and then all communication abruptly ceased 3 weeks ago. The contractor is unreachable by email, text and phone) and his voice mailbox is full (probably from other clients complaining). The concrete sub said he may be in the hospital (cancer). Maybe it is terminal. Maybe he is already dead. I don't know.

I looked into the company and it appears to no longer be an active LLP with the state (not renewed this year). Isn't that fraud? Can I get a portion of my money back somehow? The contract mentions disputes going through arbitration, but if the company is not valid then do I even legally have a contract? I want to terminate the contract (if that is necessary) and get a partial refund, but how do I proceed now that the contractor is MIA?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jaime Victor Papa
Jaime Victor Papa
  • Plano, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If I were to take this case, I would start by reading your contract and creating an effective litigation strategy. After outlining the strategy, I would move forward with the plan. It looks like you have taken a few steps already, but it does not look like you have taken any formal steps. If your demand continues to go unanswered, I would file a lawsuit. After filing the suite, I would serve the other party. I have ways of finding individuals that are difficult to track, and I am sure other law firms do as well.

In fact, I found a John Doe once through encrypted mail and a cryptocurrency exchange when cryptocurrency was still very new. You have way more information than I did in this particular case.

After I found this person, I would work towards a binding judgement against them and their estate while developing and executing an effective plan for a possible declaration of bankruptcy as well. I have provided answers to your exact questions below.

1. Fraud, possibly

2. It sounds likely

3. I would have to read the contract

4. I would have to read the contract - see above

1 user found this answer helpful

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