I live in Ukraine and the company he presents in USA. We signed a contract. How can I get MY money? CEO of this company says that they o not owe me any money but according to signed contract they do. But I live in Ukraine. They owe me around $4000

I worked for this company since end of February. They develop software in java. That was worst code base I ever seen. So I created list of possible improvements but it left only on the list. The code full of things that even not-so-experienced developer would be shocked. They almost do not use frameworks, and when they using those, they sometimes use it like it is their code. They reinventing wheel every time. They actively use reflection in production without reasonable cause . They do not follow OOP principles at all. You write in java like that is not java but probably something like C. They wanted me to write some services and I proposed to use Spring Batch, and they agreed. I worked on that service. Suddenly, my manager called me and told me that we terminate our cooperation immediately. They paid me for days I worked. But in contract there's a 15 days notice period - they said they won't pay that because I was fired with cause - because they didn't like my work. But in that case they had to notify my 30 days in advance and after that period check if situation improved. So in I was fired with case, they owe me for 30 days. I live in Ukraine and this company is from US. What can I do?

Update. Thank you!!! This company has many clients in US. This company has many clients in US. What about posting info (reviews on different sites) with company name? I believe they won't like it. And probably other people won't get scammed. Update 2 I there any organization where I can submit some complaint? They scamming me in fact - and it breaks the law I believe.

  • ..." I was fired with cause".... which means you aren't sharing the entire story here. Not that it would help. But if there was legitimate cause... you may be in breech of any contract.
    – Scott
    Apr 27, 2017 at 18:05
  • Most freelancers will experience something along these lines when they first start out. If I were you (and I understand this hurts) I would try to see this as an expensive lesson. Learn from it, move on, do not repeat whatever mistakes that were made. At least they paid you for the time you worked. Ask yourself "what should I have done, what could have I done better/smarter/securer?" The money you lost, was the price you paid to learn this lesson. Some people pay far more for the same lesson. You got it cheap. Learn->Move on.
    – PaulD
    Apr 27, 2017 at 20:01
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Handling a client that doesn't pay after services are delivered
    – Xavier J
    Apr 27, 2017 at 21:13
  • Posted updates. Apr 28, 2017 at 0:01
  • UPDATE comment: Are you a child who wants a revenge or you want your money? What was your thinking: I will write bad about them, they will then pay me to stop writing and I can delete bad comments? Grow up! I have been threatened by a few clients that they will post bad things about me because I did not want to do free work for them (when I was starting freelancing). I told them to do that, and look at me now - it did not affect my business at all.
    – Peter MV
    May 1, 2017 at 7:23

2 Answers 2


Probably not the answer you're looking for but...

As I understand it, you have been paid for work delivered - so you are complaining that they don't pay you in full for the 15 day notice period. In my experience when charging by the hour, the notice period isn't really honored - as the client could simply revoke your access, thus preventing you from billing any hours.

It seems to me you might not have managed expectations very well, as the software sounds like it is 15+ years old, created pre-Spring Framework in Java by a C/C++ programmer. Many companies have similar legacy software and are blissfully unaware of how outdated it is. Suggesting a modernization is honorable, but it is not without risks.

You are effectively telling the company that their software (possibly their primary product) is out-of-date. Some may appreciate that information and act on it, while others will view you as a nosey know-it-all outsider. Software as you describe it is quite often written by programmer(s) who are highly proficient in C/C++, but not Java and often they have very central positions in the company. This should never be underestimated.

In addition, changing the software architecture this massively will almost always take longer than anyone expected - and to the client it could seem that you are merely exchanging code you don't understand for code they don't understand - or even asked for. They could feel you are installing yourself as the sole maintainer of the code.

Before undertaking a rewrite/change of this sort, always ensure that the client is on board - and preferably enthusiastically so. And even then, you must ensure that they remain on board for the duration of the change by giving them frequent status reports.

If the money you feel they owe you is not critical, move on and take this as a learning experience.


Did you use any online platform for work or it was a direct work?

If you two worked directly, you have no other options but wait for client's mercy (will not get it probably) or start a law suit in the USA. It may be costly.

Before you give up, try to find a USA lawyer via Upwork and check for his fees. Note that clients and companies are usually cowards when they get an official email from the lawyer from their country. In 90% of cases, they will solve the issue (i.e. pay you) and choose not to go to the court.

For example, in my country if you owe me 4k and court costs are 1M, the losing side pays for the costs. So I get 4k and the lawyer gets 1M from the losing side.

NOTE: This all works in case the client is bad guy and you did all the work good and he does not want to pay you. but if you did a bad work and want the payment, I think you will have a real fight to prove that he owes you 4k. If this is the case, maybe you approach to him saying that you know that you messed things up and offer to take 2k or less to compensate the damage you produced.

  • In client understanding I did bad work. I tried to use spring and new technologies but it seems like they didn't like that but I did my best. Apr 27, 2017 at 22:42
  • Did you try to talk to a lawyer based in the USA? Like I proposed.
    – Peter MV
    May 1, 2017 at 7:21

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