Sorry to hear about your situation. As far as researching the contractor's information you have a few options. The State of Washington requires that all general specialty contractors to be licensed. The first resource you should look into is the Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries
. There you can do a search to verify the registration status of any contractor by name. Another option would be to run a business search through the Washington Secretary of State website
. Lastly, if you still can't find the information you need, you can always try to contact the property owner of the project to gather more information.
As far as trying to get your hands on that late payment, Washington does provide some tools for contractors and subs that may help you out. Securing your lien rights is a sure fire way to get some attention and paid; 17 Ways a Mechanic's Lien Works to Get You Paid
. But keep in mind that Washington does have certain notice requirements that may need to be met to secure your rights. For more information on lien rights, notices and deadlines visit our Washington Resources Page.
If all else fails, you still have other legal alternatives you can pursue such as breach of contract or unjust enrichment claims. Lawsuits are tough for everyone, but are necessary in certain circumstances. Before considering filing a lawsuit, consult with a local construction attorney to review your situation in detail and advise you on how to proceed.