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Thread: Mechanics lien

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Default Mechanics lien

    I had a garage built and it was a nightmare. The end result is that the roofer called and said he is putting a Mechanics lien on the house cause the builder did not pay him. The builder mentioned we owed him some more money for things that were changed along the way. He never pursued that until now. All I asked is that he put together an itemized list and show us what we owe and will talk and square up with him. The fact that he has brought it up more often now and then the roofer has contacted me personally via a phone number not known by the builder has raised my suspicions. I guess I want to know if I can do anything about it or am I just stuck. The builder claims that he can't pay the roofer unless I pay him cause he does not have the money. I don't need anything in world of credit, don't plan on selling the house forever.

    I assume that the cost of a lawyer and litigation would exceed the cost of paying the builder whatever he asks for.

    My gut instinct is to tell the builder he has to square up with roofer before I make any payment.

    I just want to know are there options and how does this work.



    I understand that none of your responses are anyting but opinions and experiences and I should discuss this with a lawyer before I make any decisions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,557

    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    It is one of those unfortunate little details that few people know. If material is delivered to you property or work is done on your property, the property owner is responsible. You don't mention how much is involved but you might want to consider paying the roofer and deduct it from any you owe the builder. The builder should not have extra expenses due to changes unless you authorized the changes. The original work and any changes should be documented in writing. You should have required the builder to furnish paid invoices before you paid him additional funds. The roofer can put a lien on your property, your only recourse, if you have settled with the builder, is to pay the roofer and sue the builder to get your money back.

    A mechanics lien would mean you would not be able to sell the property until the lien and accumulated interest is paid and the lien canceled.
    Jack

    BY the waynot a lawyer, just had a friend go through paying double for materials deliverd.
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 11-03-2009 at 10:50 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    KS
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    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    I realize this may be a little late for you, but it is a good idea to get a lien release from the contractor upon payment. It doesn't happen very often in my business (maybe 2-3 times a year) However I did sign one today, simply stating that all our labor and materials have been paid for basically.

    It's not an issue in my business, since I use my own employees, and pay for my materials upon delivery. However it does make some customers feel better getting one, and we gladly sent them one upon request.

    It may also be good to ask for this in the bidding process. It may be a red flag if they act concerned by the question, or don't know what it is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    6,480

    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    Lien releases are not signed by subs until they've been paid. Unfortunately, you can pay your contractor every cent as per the contract and subsequent change orders, but unless he also pays off the subs, their right to lien continues. One saving grace is that these liens have to be resubmitted by the sub-contractor regularly (every year or other year ) for them to stay on the books. Lien rights on both sides change with the wind, so check with your local building authority or contractor governing authority for more information on your rights.

    You cannot demand lien releases upon your final payment because again, until the sub is paid, they don't sign off their lien rights. If this doesn't resolve itself, by coming to an agreement with the general contractor, who then pays off his subs, then you will have to hire a lawyer to help you go after the contractor. Make sure you've got signed copies of any contracts and change orders, a list of subs, and canceled checks as proof of payment and contract fulfillment.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    florida
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    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    Google lien laws for your home state. I live in florida contractors or material suppliers only have 90 days to file the lien. If they miss the date it cant be enforced,it has to be recorded in the court house records.
    Not sure if all states are that way,do some research.

    Florida example below:

    When to File/
    Record: Within 90 days of your final furnishing labor and materials on the project. As of July 1, 2007, the Florida statutes have been amended to further define what is meant by “final furnishing”. This is the last work on the project (labor, material, or equipment) and does not include punch list or warranty work. In other words, if you’re still working on the project doing base contract or change order work, it will be extended, but if you’re going back to the site and redoing work that you had already performed, it would not extend the time. The date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy or the finalization of the building permit is not considered “final furnishing”. This is because a building permit can be signed-off if you’re still doing work on the property, such as painting, wall covering, carpeting, and other finish work. “Final furnishing” for rental equipment is the date the equipment was last on the job and available for use.
    Gizmo

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    Thanks for all the info. It was kind of a friend of a friend deal which I knew would be a mistake anyway. I will let you know what happens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ladson,SC
    Posts
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    Default Re: Mechanics lien

    Quote Originally Posted by raidencmc View Post
    I had a garage built and it was a nightmare. The end result is that the roofer called and said he is putting a Mechanics lien on the house cause the builder did not pay him. The builder mentioned we owed him some more money for things that were changed along the way. He never pursued that until now. All I asked is that he put together an itemized list and show us what we owe and will talk and square up with him. The fact that he has brought it up more often now and then the roofer has contacted me personally via a phone number not known by the builder has raised my suspicions. I guess I want to know if I can do anything about it or am I just stuck. The builder claims that he can't pay the roofer unless I pay him cause he does not have the money. I don't need anything in world of credit, don't plan on selling the house forever.

    I assume that the cost of a lawyer and litigation would exceed the cost of paying the builder whatever he asks for.

    My gut instinct is to tell the builder he has to square up with roofer before I make any payment.

    I just want to know are there options and how does this work.



    I understand that none of your responses are anyting but opinions and experiences and I should discuss this with a lawyer before I make any decisions.
    If your contract was with the builder and he hired the sub-Contractor you have no contract with the sub-contractor and would not have a responsibility to pay the sub direct.
    As for the lien it would be required that the builder /roofer has paid for the materials and has a purchase invoice that states the materials were ordered and delivered to your address.
    The material suppliers invoice would be required to have the date and address items were delivered on.The supplier may in your state have a right to file a lien for materials only if he has not been paid and can prove that the material were delivered to your address.
    And yes the 90 days apply in most states. the 90 days would start on the last date that the contractor can prove he was on site and completed work. ( PAYROLL RECORDS )

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