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After sending notice of intent to file, can I reject an offer to be paid in installments?

New YorkPayment Disputes

We manufactured parts in 2017 as sub-contractor. Contractor agreed to pay on 12/20/18. Check bounced. His office received Notice of Intent and called. Wants to pay in installments. We don't want to go that route. Do we have to? Assuming they pay, can I charge them the fee to remove the lien?

1 reply

Mar 6, 2019
Good question! First, whether to accept or reject an offer of payment is ultimately up to the party being presented with the offer - and that decision must be made on an individual basis based on what's best for that business. But, when one party offers up payment terms that are different than the ones originally agreed upon, the mere offering of a payment plan doesn't automatically create an obligation to accept it. Further, where a payment plan would interfere with the mechanics lien deadline (i.e. when some payments would be expected after the deadline to lien has passed), it might not make sense for a lien claimant to accept such a plan unless there's some other assurance of payment. That being said, there are ways to secure the right to payment beyond the mechanics lien process - especially when both sides of the payment dispute are willing to cooperate. That idea is discussed here: Don’t Want to File a Mechanics Lien? Here Are 5 Other Options. Regarding recovering the cost of filing a lien - such a cost cannot be included in the lien claim itself. However, a lien claimant could absolutely attempt to recover the cost of a lien filing when negotiating for the release of their lien - and often, an owner or contractor will be willing to add that small, additional cost in order to resolve a payment dispute. For additional information about New York mechancis liens, this resource should be valuable: New York Lien & Notice FAQs.
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