It is not uncommon for a famous or wealthy individual to face a lien on their property. Just over the last few years, we’ve seen liens filed against Justin Bieber, Kenya Moore, and Donald Trump. So why do these individuals fail to pay for construction work if they aren’t struggling financially? Between breakdowns in the payment chain, disputes over the value of work done, and countless other issues that may arise, opportunities for a missed payment to slip between the cracks are abound. Not that long ago, Birdman, rapper and CEO of Cash Money Records, found himself facing a pair of Florida liens.
Long before Birdman demanded we put respect on his name, the rapper faced a pair of Florida liens. Considering he was worth an estimated $160M at the time, this may come as a surprise to many. Liens arise for many reasons, so insolvency may not be the only issue at play. Still, financial problems are no stranger to the rap industry, and it appears at least one of the liens are a result of insufficient funds.
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The first lien against Birdman was filed in 2014 against his $14.5M Miami mansion. Filed by Zanky Construction Company (Zanky), the mechanics lien arose from extensive renovation work done on the property. The contractor issued an invoice for about $1M which was never paid. After another invoice for $43K went unpaid, Zanky filed a lien for just over $1.04M. The original story can be found here, along with the court filing. Considering how newsworthy it would be otherwise, it appears Birman and Zanky took care of the matter before foreclosure was necessary. It’s worth noting that this property is no stranger to financial problems. Its former owner, producer Scott Storch, previously lost the mansion during bankruptcy proceedings.
Later in 2014, another lien was filed against Birdman. While the details leading up to the filing of the first lien remain unclear, the second lien was due in part to bounced checks. The Ivy Condo Association filed the lien, claiming the rapper failed to pay $12.5K in association fees on his Miami condo. The association claimed that several checks had bounced and late fees were piling up. After filing the lien in November of 2014, the Ivy Condo Association moved to foreclose the lien months later. Again, considering how newsworthy it would be for the rapper/CEO to be booted from his Miami condo due to unpaid fees, this issue was likely settled before foreclosure became necessary.
Mechanics liens can pop up on any project, regardless of the property owner. Whether arising from payment disputes or insolvency, the seriousness of a clouded title tends to settle payment issues more quickly than other remedies. For this reason, mechanics liens are invaluable in the battle for fairness in construction payment. It appears that these Florida liens persuaded Birdman to settle his construction payment issues. Considering this New Orleans native doesn’t even pay the IRS, I’d say that’s strong evidence that mechanics liens get the job done.
Recently, another high profile Miami project faced a mechanics lien. For more information on Florida liens and bonds, check out our Florida Lien Law FAQs. Here are other considerations regarding Florida lien and bond law.