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Our client Lenora* is a low-income senior whose only asset is her home on the South Side of Chicago. In 2013, she hired a contractor to do improvements, including replacing the sidewalk in front of her house and spent all of her savings in the process. After only one winter the concrete was already crumbling, and it was clear Lenora had been cheated. CDEL took the case, seeking a repair or a refund. The first demand letters were sent in 2014, without success, and CDEL filed a small claims lawsuit shortly thereafter. After many delays the case finally went to trial in May 2016. Before trial the contractor offered a mere $500 to settle the case - a fraction of what the case was actually worth to Lenora. Fortunately, the judge entered an award of $1,950. But when the time came for the contractor to pay the award he pled poverty. He kept almost all of his assets in his wife's name, so collecting on the judgment became difficult, and when a bank error failed to reveal details about his company's bank account, it appeared that it might be impossible. Thankfully, a last attempt at a citation revealed the account, which was found and frozen by the court. The contractor eventually paid the full judgment, plus all post-judgment interest, of over $2,100.

* Name has been changed