Menu
Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>As a MI homeowner what should I do if an unlicensed subcontractor put a lien on our property 90 days after doing work that we knew nothing about as we have already paid our general contractor in full.

As a MI homeowner what should I do if an unlicensed subcontractor put a lien on our property 90 days after doing work that we knew nothing about as we have already paid our general contractor in full.

MichiganMechanics Lien

Our general contractor is licensed and we paid him in full (which he wrote on our contract). However, an unlicensed subcontractor he supposedly hired claims he didn’t get paid and sent me a copy a NSF check from our contractor . He sent us the letter of furnishing and filed the claim lien with the register of deeds exactly 90 days from date supposedly last worked. Our contractor claims he took and or damaged some of his property so he isn’t paying him and says he is going to sue him but we have seen no proof of it. It has now been 30 days since we have had this lien unfairly placed on our property. What recourse do we have? ( unfortunately we didn’t know that we should have asked for a waiver of claim of lien prior to us paying our contractor)

1 reply

Oct 5, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. On Michigan residential projects, a general contractor is required to provide what's called a "Sworn Statement" to the property owner before receiving any payment - and this document should list the subcontractors that were hired by the general contractor as well as any amounts that remain unpaid to the subcontractors. Further, subs and suppliers who were not hired directly by the owner of the property must provide a Notice of Furnishing - and the very purpose of this notice is to notify the owner and contractor that the sender is providing work on the project (and that, if payment isn't made) they may have the right to file a lien. However, if this Notice of Furnishing is not sent as required by statute (typically, within 20 days of the sender's first furnishing of labor and/or materials to the job), then a lien filed later on by that sender would likely be invalid or unenforceable. Regarding licensure, under § 570.1114A of Michigan's mechanics lien statute, a residential lien claimant must be licensed in order to file a lien claim - but only if the type of work performed typically requires licensure. But, if a license is required and not held by the lien claimant, the failure of licensure could also lead to an invalid and unenforceable lien claim. Finally, it's also worth mentioning that threatening legal action against a general contractor who's sub has filed a lien claim could be effective - reminding the contractor that they are not "in the clear" despite payment being made can help to light a fire under the contractor to get the issue resolved. These are just a few of the grounds that might invalidate a filed lien claim. It's worth mentioning that, once a lien has been filed, it would likely be wise for an owner to consult a local construction or real estate attorney. They'll be able to review any and all documentation, communication, and other information and advise on the best path for moving forward. Michigan lien claimants have a lot of time (up to 1 year) before they must enforce (file suit) based on a lien claim that's been filed, but getting out in front of the claim is pivotal. Plus, once a lien claim has been filed, a claimant can enforce their lien claim really at any time. This article may provide some helpful information as well: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?
1 likes

Add your answer or comment

Not the answer you were looking for? Check out other Mechanics Lien topics or ask your own question