chicagohh - 5:54 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm with aspdaddy - make sure you use a credit card. Chargebacks are much easier.
I had a recent issue with Elance where the provider disappeared without finishing the project. A few months later he re-appeared and submitted for payment. I told Elance several times that he did not finish the project (I did not approve any milestones), but I keep receive outstanding invoice notices.
Fortunately, I did NOT pre-fund the project. I strongly suspect that had I done that I would be out my money. In the future I would recommend to always use a credit card (never a debit being used as a credit card) and to not fund the Elance escrow.