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contractor lien

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#1 brooklyn_1


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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

Hi ,
hoping for some help i have a construction corp. i have been hired to do a job on a building in 2009. i Have purchased materials in 2009. half way thruough the job the owner of the rental space has not paid me for work done & has not let me back in to finish he has completed the job himself. the supplier has been notified by me at that time we have agreed to put a mechanics lien on the building. i have been contacting the supplier every so often to get updated since he put the lien on the building. the supplier has told me he has not been successfull as of yet but if they hear anything will let me know. the supplier at the time of filing lien has put my corp & his supplie house on the lien for reciept.

now i have recieved a letter from the suppliers lawer trying to collect the amount owed within 10 days of reciept of letter or they will sue. can they sue if i'm owed money from the retained owner. what can i due since i'm on the lien also but have no idea whats going on. or who they hired to file lien.

i have also been paying them slowly out of my money . but asked for proof of non payment & copy of the lien they didn't produce the lien or any info on it after.

Please help.

#2 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:04 AM

The law on construction liens is state law, and you didn't indicate in what state this is taking place. The rules vary significantly from state to state, so it really does matter. For example, in my state a construction lien/mechanics lien is only good for a year — the contractor must file suit to enforce the lien within the that year or the lien becomes unenforceable.

The supplier can likely sue and won't need to you to do it. You could end up taking a back seat to the supplier in this if you don't act to protect your interests. You likely should have hired a lawyer to go after the building owner/customer long before this. Since you evidently conduct work through a corporation, you almost won't be able to represent the corporation yourself in this lawsuit except that in some states a corporate officer may represent the corporation in small claims court.

#3 cybersharque24


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:46 AM

Your username, Brooklyn, suggests that you are in New York. From what you say, the mechanic's lien has lapsed--it lasts for only one year unless you take further steps. However, you can and should invoke your other remedies under the lien law--the ones that can but this thief in jail. That usually gets the contractor paid. And you should sue. Your debt to the supplier exists and is payable whether or not you get paid by the owner, just as a GC's obligation to a subcontractor is not limited to money paid by the owner.*******

Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 16 January 2013 - 08:31 AM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

#4 adjusterjack


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:29 AM

Agree with cybersharque24.

You need to be pursuing the contractor and not rely on anybody else to do it for you.

You owe the supplier whether the contractor pays you or not.

The contractor owes you and nobody else cares (but you) whether the contractor pays you.

Liens are a very poor way to get money.

Lawsuits and judgments are much better, though not completely perfect.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

#5 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

Liens are a very poor way to get money.

Actually, liens can be a very good way to get your money. By itself, however, it is not a good way of getting your money promptly. If you want to collect sooner rather than (possibly much) later, you have to do more than just file a lien.

#6 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

To learn more about this subject matter, you may want to read: Contractor's Liens as a good resource.

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