I was a subcontractor on a residential Heat Pump Installation where I installed 2 Heat Pumps in an attick. The GC said that he did not put enough funds in the insurance claim and said that he could not pay me the balance of 10k for 2 years. I called the insurance company and they confirmed that the money was there but the GC has just not submitted the completion form. I think he is trying to get out of paying me. Can I file a Mechanics lien so that the homeowner puts pressure on him to pay me?
You should absolutely, 100%, file a lien in this situation (personal opinion). As a subcontractor, you have a clock you are on to file a lien. If you let that clock expire without filing a lien, your only recourse is to sue the GC for breach of contract and there is a likelihood you will win and he will not have the funds to pay you so you will be SOL.
If you file a lien then sue to enforce it, there's a lot more juice behind your lawsuit. The GC will get two earsful by the homeowner and they will insist that you are paid so the lien on their house will be cleared. It's even possible the homeowner will pay you then withold the $10K from the GC's pay. That's sometimes how it works. Your situation may turn out differently.
If you would like help with this, let me know.
E. Aaron Cartwright III
Your ability to file a mechanic's lien would depend on the total cost of the renovation/repair work (all together, not just your scope), and if it was at least 15% of the value of the property. Please feel free to contact me directly if I can be of any further assistance.