Philadelphia, PA asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation, Collections and Small Claims for Pennsylvania

Q: What legal rights do I have for doing mechanic work at my house on someone else's car

I perform mechanic work for people that can't afford the price of dealerships or a mechanic shop I charge half price or less before I start the work the owner of vehicle and myself having agreement on cost of parts, labor and total price. When I complete the work and it's time to pay owner of vehicle is trying to come up with excuses to not pay what rights do I have?? I have a sole proprietor business EIN#

1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: First, is your agreement with an owner in writing?

And that document should set out the work to be performed, the costs for that work, and the due dates for payment.

And then the document should state the various remedies for default in payment.

In PA, and most other states, you have a right to assert a "mechanics and materialmen's lien", and your written agreement with each owner should set for the remedies provided in those statutes for non-payment.

Think ahead, whether its about cars or anything else that might be grounds for dispute or default. Every judge likes things in writing, because there's nothing iffy about a properly drawn document/agreement. On the contrary, every "agreement by handshake"/oral agreement becomes a swearing match if a judge gets involved, and then the judge has to decide which witness is telling the truth, an impossible ask in most instances. Writings do away with most questions.

Follow-up documents, for change orders, modifications, etc., to the up front agreement are likewise helpful to a judge in the event of any problem.

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