Self employed – collecting payment on contract work

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Self employed – collecting payment on contract work

I am a contract drafter. I drafted house plan for a home builder. He is not paying
me for the house plans, which I have already turned over to him. Someone told me
to file a lien on the property where he was going to build the house, and then
someone else told me to take the home builder to small claims court. Which is
better? I did not have a formal contract with him, just verbal and lots of emails in
regards to the house plans.

Asked on August 3, 2016 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You cannot file a lien over a failure to pay for house plans until and unless there has been a determination that money is in fact owed to you. Therefore, your recourse is to sue the homeowner for breach of contract--violation of the oral (that's the better term than "verbal") agreement to pay you for the plans. If the amount is less than the limit for your small claims court, suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save legal fees is the best option.


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