Can a supplier put lien on my property?

2 weeks ago

HI,
I hired a Asphalt company to pave my yard in April 2019 and I paid him in full.
Now; the supplier wants to put lien on my property because of my contractor didn’t pay for material around 32k.
The contractor is filing bankruptcy. I did not receive any lien notice either from contractor or supplier at the time of signing the contract.
Can they put lien on my property? What do I need to do?
Thanks,

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Material Supplier
Project Type: Commercial
Managing Partner Gibbs Giden LLP
48 reviews

Good afternoon,

It sounds like there are a few things that need to be done. First, was your project completed last year? If so, the supplier’s lien (recorded now) is almost certainly untimely. And if you never received a preliminary notice, that is also a problem for the supplier. Feel free to provide some more information!

Disclaimer: NOTE: The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. The content contained herein is published online for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship and is neither intended to constitute an advertisement nor a solicitation.
1 found this helpful
Guest
Anonymous

The project done last year on April. The first court notice I received is a few months ago but not the preliminary notice.

Guest
Anonymous

Also; they were sending the court notices to my accountant address and the accountant is no longer working with us since Nov of 2019 so actually, I didn’t receive the court notice until last week. Also; we didn’t served either from the supplier or the court because of they were sending all documents to the wrong address.

Managing Partner Gibbs Giden LLP
48 reviews

Court notices? What kind of court notices? Sounds like you need to engage an attorney as soon as possible as if you do not respond timely to the summons and complaint (assuming those are the court notices you are referring to), you could have a default judgment entered against you.  

Disclaimer: NOTE: The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. The content contained herein is published online for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship and is neither intended to constitute an advertisement nor a solicitation.
1 found this helpful
Attorney Law Office of Cathleen M. Curl
30 reviews

A supplier can legally lien your property IF then previously sent you a Preliminary Notice by certified mail. If they didn’t, they have no lien rights against you or your property. They can only go against the contractor that hired them. The best way to handle this is to have an attorney write the supplier a strong letter telling them they have no lien rights since they didn’t timely and properly serve you with a preliminary notice and threaten them with legal action if they do put a lien on. I’ve written many such letters for my clients in the past. Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Cathleen M. Curl, Esq.
Law Office of Cathleen M. Curl
700 El Camino Real, Suite 200
Millbrae, CA 94030
T 650-871-5955
F 650-588-7101

1 found this helpful
Attorney Hunt Ortmann Palffy Nieves Darling & Mah, Inc.
66 reviews

The asphalt company only has lien rights if they served you with preliminary notice within 20 days of providing the asphalt or if there is some other way they can demonstrate that you had actual knowledge that they were supplying the asphalt at the time. Further, this asphalt company only has 90 days from project completion to record a lien. So if the project was completed more than 90 days ago, and no lien has been recorded, the asphalt company is too late to record a valid lien.  

At this point you may want to express to them that their lien would be invalid for the reasons stated above to deter them from recording a lien. While the lien would be invalid, they could still record it. If the lien is recorded you have the option of posting a bond to release the lien, immedietly petitioning a court to release it (assuming it is invalid), or waiting 90 days for it to expire unless they move ahead with a lawsuit to enforce. If they move a head with a lawsuit to enforce you would fight the validity via a motion in that lawsuit. 

But best at this point to demonstrate to them why any lien would be invalid. 

Disclaimer: Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. The law is complex and the specific facts of your situation can change your legal position substantially and may render the information above non-applicable to you. The content contained herein is published online for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. To schedule a free legal consultation you can email me at ryan@huntortmann.com.
1 found this helpful
Guest
Anonymous

HI Peter, Thanks for your reply. I did not receive any notice from Supplier or Asphalt company. The supplier hired a lawyer and they recorded a lien. The project done on April 2019. The asphalt company (contractor) filed a chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and the supplier’s lawyer recorded a lien against my property. I have a copy of all documents, contract, and the deposited check shows the contractor has been in full and I also have a final invoice indicating they received all balance due on time. Please advice,

Guest
Anonymous

HI Peter, Thanks for your reply. I did not receive any notice from Supplier or Asphalt company. The supplier hired a lawyer and they recorded a lien. The project done on April 2019. The asphalt company (contractor) filed a chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and the supplier’s lawyer recorded a lien against my property. I have a copy of all documents, contract, and the deposited check shows the contractor has been paid in full and I also have a final invoice indicating they received all balance due on time. Please advice,

Guest
Anonymous

HI Cathleen, I am not sure if you can read my responses to other attorneys, Please reply when you get a chance. Regards,

Attorney Law Office of Cathleen M. Curl
30 reviews

If the supplier didn’t send you a Preliminary Notice, then they have no lien rights against your property. When that happens, I generally write a strong letter to the supplier or their attorney explaining the lien and demanding that they immediately release the lien against the property. I also enclose a Release of Lien form for them to sign and return. This works probably 90% of the time. If they still don’t release the lien, you can wait out the 90 day lien period and then file a petition with the court to have the court release the lien for you if they haven’t filed suit to foreclose the lien.

3 found this helpful
Guest
Anonymous

HI Everyone, I got some update. Seems like the supplier certified mailed the preliminary notice which I didn’t receive it or I missed that, but the mail delivered on July 27th of 2019 while the contract dated on May 6th, 2019 after 81 days of the contract. Also, They had 90 days to record the lien but they recorded on April 29th of 2020, almost one year after the contract written. They also had another 90 days to record the mechanic lien but they are late for that option too. The last payment paid to the contractor is dated on July 17th of 2019 while the preliminary notice delivered 10 was after the last payment deposited by contractor and there was no balance due left to hold and ask the contractor to pay for material. The supplier and his lawyer are late to send preliminary notice, record the lien and mechanic lien. As I mentioned, the contractor filed chapter 13 Bankruptcy and the supplier is trying hard to lien my property to get his money back. PLEASE ADVICE. Thank you so much and I appreciate your help.

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