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I live in South NJ. I have a 25k contract with a building contractor. However, they bailed once they got paid in full from the financial company. Before I knew that they were playing games they kept giving me a whole run around every other day with a different excuse why they can't come. In the winter they said the weather is too cold. now over the summer they started working but then one day they didn't show up. When I called they said it's cause of rain (where they're located but not where my house is) Another day it was being delayed for a couple weeks. Then I was told it's the holidays, and one time they even said a workers family member passed away stalling an other couple weeks. There were a lot of excuses and now they told me that they can't work until there is a straight week without rain. We had plenty times beautiful days and weeks and they just keep ignoring my emails or phone calls asking when they're resuming work since we are having a nice forecast, but they sometimes pickup and give me a false promise for few days or some other excuse. Then I contacted the financial company asking why they paid out in full without consulting with me if the job was completed. They told me there was no need to, and something about that it says in the contract. I don't see anywhere mentioning that.

I'm thinking of contacting a lawyer but I don't know what kind I'm looking for. Somebody told me that because they have a clause in the contract "if weather permitted” then that's why they could keep pushing this off this way.

I don't know how to go about this. Should I first stop paying the financial company monthly untill this gets resolved? Should I contact the contractor boss directly and tell him I'll make a lawsuit, before I contact a lawyer? Or should I get a lawyer first before I do anything?

Are there clauses in the contract that getting a lawyer will just end up costing me instead of getting my money back?

Please help this has been dragging out for almost a year. I feel like such a fool being taken advantage of like this.

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I assume that you arranged a contract with some company which paid the contractor the full amount, and not you have to pay that company. If you stop paying the finance company, they will initiate legal proceedings against you to make good on your obligation, and that won't affect what the contractor does. It might not hurt you to write a formal letter (no phone calls) to the contractor stating that you require them to complete the job by some date certain, and hope that you won't have to take the matter to court. If you decide to write the letter yourself, you want to avoid saying anything that could be held against your interest, for example "I don't care how crappy a job you do, I just want this job done!": you need to be sure that what you say in a letter does not put you at a legal disadvantage. The best way to guarantee that is to hire an attorney to write the letter. If you want your money back (plus interest), you will almost certainly need to hire an attorney to write the letter.

It is possible that there is an arbitration clause in your contract, requiring you to settle disputes with the firm Dewey, Cheatham & Howe. In that case, your attorney might not be able to do much for you. There cannot be a clause in a contract that penalizes you simply for hiring an attorney.

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We can't say much for sure without being able to see your contract (or contracts). Don't do anything now that may cause trouble later. Continue making payments. You are almost certainly going to want to talk with a lawyer, and the New Jersey bar association has a site to find lawyers.

An initial consultation is unlikely to be too expensive, and in a disputed case like this the lawyer's likely to be cheaper than not having one.

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