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Question DetailsAsked on 1/30/2017

We recently won a small claims case but haven't had any luck collecting. Is there anything else we can do?

A contractor stole our $2400.00 dollar deposit and of course was never seen again. We took him to court and won but we do not have much information on him or his company which is not licensed (my fault for not checking). We are not having any luck trying to garnish his checking account and are running out of options. We have not called the police or the district attorney but plan to tomorrow. Soea anyone have any suggestions on how to get our money back or just make his life a living hell for being a low life acum!

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1 Answer


Garnishment might not be the right term - that normally applies to legal notification (with court approval and award) to his employer or a payor of money to him, that a certain amount should go directly to you - usually applies to wages. For physical assets a lien is the usual mode, for financial assets an attachment - where a court order authorizes you to take assets from his account up to the specified amount.


1) if he was bonded (not likely if not licensed), file a claim against his bond

2) since this is fraud, if he gave you proof of insurance file a claim against his business insurance - or his personal insurance if he personally used the money (rather than depositing into business account), or if his personal homeowners insurance had a business rider on it

3) usually takes a lawyer to do it, and some investigating to track him down, but getting a court order to attach his financial accounts or possibly (in some states) to put a lien on his vehicle or home (if he owns it) and then foreclose on the lien is possible - though means finding him.

4) if this was fraud - he took the money and ran, as it sounds like - then filing a police fraud charge (though pretty late to be doing that if you already went to civil court) might shake the money out of him or at least help find out what assets or income he has that can be garnished or a claim enforced against. Also, filing a police fraud report might shake the money out of him because if he pays you back the full amount due (with any legal interest) then you would no longer have a criminal claim against him because you got the money back, so he might skip out on the charge.

5) in addition to police, google if there is a homeowner fraud reimbursement fund in your state - though in some cases where there is, it only applies to fraud by licensed contractors, not unlicensed ones.

6) check also (police might help you with contacts) about local consumer fraud government agency - sometimes in local district attorney's or state attorney general's office, sometimes a city or state office. Sometimes there is also a separate elder fraud unit if you are older (generally over 65) which can help with resources and sometimes with recovering the money too.

7) filing a report with the state contractor licensing board, while that will likely not help get your money back, would result in them taking action against him which might save other people from being victimized by him

8) and after all is said and done, do an appropriate Review on Angies List to other Al users do not get ripped off by him

9) if you got his services through Angies List and are a member of the higher paid group, they have a guarantee program or two which might be able to give your money back

10) opn the living hell / low life scum thing - be cautious about being too aggressive about this, because he does know where you live, you know - plus if he is that type of person (assuming this was not due to family or medical emergency or such causing him to forget the job), then presumably his morals are not real high so there is the chance of retribution by him for you making his life miserable

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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