I live in NY and a licensed contractor did a terrible job in my home. Contractor is now threatening me with a mechanic's lien for the last $1500 in payment (out of $13k+ already paid). I've been advised by a non lawyer real estate pro to sue him in small claims first. Real estate pro says this will block him from attaching a lien to my property for as long as the suit is open. Is this correct? I'm an attorney myself but I generally don't litigate. If it is correct, how do I "attach" my suit to my property, so that he gets blocked when he tries to file a lien against it? My suit would sue for the small claims max for damages to pay for repairs and to bring the work to a workmanlike standard.