Can a contractor claim an unpaid balance for work done 4 years ago?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2012

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Can a contractor claim an unpaid balance for work done 4 years ago?

I had contractor replace windows. Chased him at that time for a small punch list and to pay the final balance of $6,700 but he never came back, nor asked for the balance. Can he do so now? I have a warranty issue with a large window, but I am concerned that they will take a fresh look at the account if I call and claim the amount due.

Asked on February 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In New Jersey, the statute of limitions, or time to file a lawsuit (which therefore also defines how long someone has to legally enforce a debt) is 6 years for written contracts, oral contracts, or open accounts. Your debt to the contractor would be based on one of these (for example, on a written agrement or a proposal which you accepted). Therefore, the contractor has up to 6 years to seek payment of any as-yet unpaid amounts.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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