You invited a contractor to help you with your remodeling project and things were going smoothly from the beginning and later on you’re not satisfied with his work and you didn’t pay them their money, finally the contractor decided to put a lien on your property, then what should you do in such a situation.
What’s A Construction Lien?
Construction lien occurs when a contractor do some work and you hold some of his money because may be you believe he doesn’t deserve what he has requested due to poor work, or it can be whatever reason for not paying for their services. When that occurred he placed your house on security for outstanding debt, this means the contractor is making a claim on you for his unpaid services. If care isn’t taken, with time the contractor might sell your home to cover his expenses.
Contractor lien isn’t a complex process; contractors put a lien on any property when they believe they’re denied work compensation wrongfully. Each state in the United States has its own rules and regulations regarding construction lien and the rules vary from one state to another significantly. In some states lien expire within ninety days while other states it took longer than that, before taking any action you should check with your lawyer to understand how construction lien works and how to deal with it.
Is Your Construction Lien Valid?
Contractors can’t just put a lien any how they want; they must comply with some requirements before putting a lien on any property.
* Homeowners must be given preliminary notice within some time frame after finishing the work.
* The contractor should be able to state clearly the minimum amount of detail on the debt.
* All liens must be filed at local court or a registrar of deeds within a fix time frame after the completion of the work and the homeowner has accepted the work done, and also began to use it.
* The contractor also must start a lawsuit to start collecting debt within specified days of filing your lien.
How To Get Rid Of Construction Lien
Once a construction lien is recorded you have to go through a long process before selling or refinancing your home. If it is found that you’re innocent, that’s to say there is a false allegation against you by the contractor you can remove the lien by visiting a registrar of deeds or county courthouse to remove such lien.
If you however know that the lien is valid you should try settling with the contractor before things go worst, which could lead to selling of the house. It is a good idea to reach an agreement before the issue is passed on to the courthouse, most contractors spend a lot of money when filing a lien, therefore they’ll charge you a lot when they file a lawsuit against you during debt collection. We all know how difficult it is to deal with lawsuits; it is worthy to do as much as you can to resolve things quickly with the contractor. If you have taken care of the problem within yourselves then the contractor can withdraw the lien.
Handling A Contractor Lien – Negotiating Terms
In order to avoid any dispute between you and the contractor you should spend some time to review contract details carefully in the sense that you fully understand all the terms, if it’s a big contract you should consider consulting a lawyers that will translate things for you. The deadline for the completion of such contract must be defined and if the contractor fails to meet the deadline you may as well delay payment. It is also beneficial for you to negotiate paying the contractor with credit card, this provide easy refund in case the contractor fails to deliver as promised. Even if there is no refund you can contact the credit card merchant to withhold the funds because the services haven’t been delivered well.
As been said earlier trying to resolve the issue out of court resolution is the best way to go when it comes to dealing with a lien. When the matter reach court there is going to high charges, even a small dispute can incur charges of up to $5000, without taken into consideration of other fees such as attorneys’ fees. If the dispute exceeds $5000 you may need to file in circuit or county court. If you’re having lien on your home, contact Massey & Duffy to help you resolve the matter quickly. Call us now for a free consultation.