Have you lost money to a licensed contractor in Minnesota? Has a contractor walked off the job? Have they not completed a job you hired them to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should contact Dudley & Smith! Dudley & Smith, P.A. is a full-service law firm with over 25 years of experience working on contractor disputes. Don’t let a Licensed Contractor leave you high and dry!

How Do I Get Some of My Money Back?

After a job is left unfinished you may have a lot of questions. If you are like a lot of people, money comes to mind. Thankfully, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has a Contractor Recovery Fund for these issues.

The Contractor Recovery Fund was created by the legislature in 1994 to compensate certain owners or lessees of residential property who have suffered a direct and out-of-pocket loss due to fraudulent, deceptive, or dishonest practices, conversion of funds or failure of performance that arose out of a contact directly between the licensee and the homeowner.

For the Fund to work, each licensed residential building contractor pays a fee into the fund as a part of paying their license.

What Should I Do?

First, check here to make sure your contractor was licensed. Next, contact an attorney.

To recover money with this fund, you must sue your contractor: this is where attorney comes in. In speaking with an attorney, he or she will further inform you of the process and work hard to get you the best payout.

To get the ball rolling, before calling it is often helpful for your attorney to itemize all the money lost when your contractor failed to complete their work. This will give them a better idea of your situation before filing a lawsuit: suing the contractor.

Next, you are required to give notice to the contractor that you are suing them. An attorney will do this on your behalf, but it is an important aspect of the legal process.

Third, the lawsuit is filed. After the lawsuit is filed, one may obtain a final judgment against the licensed residential contractor. A judgment is the result of filing a successful lawsuit or the filing of a settlement agreement reached through mediation. 

A successful case is filed with the court, which then allows the DLI to review the result for payment. The Department of Labor and Industry reviews your case, determines whether a homeowner is eligible, and decides the amount of compensation available. If the DLI approves payment, the homeowner will assign its rights to the portion of the judgment that the Department of Labor and Industry has agreed to compensate the homeowner. The maximum amount available for recovery with the CRF is $75,000. This fee is often prorated: if the approved payouts exceed the amount available for payments, DLI will prorate the amount available among the owners and the lessees.

So, if you lost money to a licensed contractor in Minnesota as a result of them leaving unfinished work or walking off the job, contact us today!

This post was created by Joseph J. Dudley, Jr., a commercial litigation, construction, real estate, and personal injury attorney at Dudley and Smith, P.A. with help from Alexander Koch, a law clerk and current student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.  If you have questions about the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Contractors Fund or the prospects of litigation, please contact Mr. Joseph Dudley, Jr. at 651-291-1717 or by email at jdudley@dudleyandsmith.com. Dudley and Smith, P.A. is a full service law firm with offices in St. Paul, Blaine, Bloomington, Burnsville, Chanhassen, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury.

The law is continually evolving and Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog posts should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship. Postings are for informational purposes and are not solicitations, legal advice, or tax advice. A viewer of Dudley & Smith, P.A.’s blog should not rely upon any information in the blog without seeking legal counsel.