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You obtained a judgment against your construction contractor, how do you collect?

Sometimes your dispute with your contractor goes all the way to court and you obtain a judgment. However, sometimes the contractor does not have the ability to pay the judgment, so financially, you are out-of-pocket your judgment damages plus your attorneys’ fees. You may have one last alternative to recover at least a portion of your losses through the Virginia Contractor Transaction Recovery Fund (the “Recovery Fund”).

Williamsburg Courthouse



The Recovery Fund was created as a means of consumer protection to those Virginia residents who have been defrauded or injured maliciously by the poor work or dishonesty of a contractor.  First, a few specific requirements must be met.  You must obtain a judgment against the contractor. The Board must determine that the judgment obtained was based upon the contractor’s improper or fraudulent conduct.  However, a claimant will not be denied recovery because the judgment obtained is lacking in specificity, because the Board can base its decision “on any language in the order that supports the conclusion that the court found the conduct of the [contractor] involved improper or dishonest.”

Next, the contractor at issue must first be “an individual or entity licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The contract in question “must involve contracting for the consumer’s residence located in Virginia.”

Finally, the Recovery Fund limits the amount of recovery, regardless of the amount of the judgment. A single claim for restitution from the fund is limited to $20,000.00.

More than likely, the Recovery Fund will not make you whole. Furthermore, the process to obtain money from the Recovery Fund can be complex. An attorney experienced in construction litigation can help you prepare and file a claim putting you in position to mitigate your losses.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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John Tarley

John is the firm's managing partner and chairs the firm's small business, zoning, and litigation practice areas.

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