I'm a contractor that was hired by a homeowner (at least i think he owns the home) and he got his lawyer to email me this following statement: "Mr. Arroyo: This office is retained to protect and advance the interests of Eunice Lee with regard to the above matter. Even our preliminary investigation demonstrates that any lien your company might place on the above property will be an illegal cloud on title, and potentially a product of faud. Records exist that the claim for uncompensated works of improvement is false. Your company will proceed with clouding the title to this property at its own risk. My client will seek compensation in full for any and all losses she sustains by such action. If you have an attorney, have the attorney contact me immediately. If not, confirm that you will take no further steps with regard to this matter at this time, with regard to this or the other properties identified in the Notice you falsely sent. Your immediate attention to this matter is demanded. By this communication, no client of this office makes any admission in whole or in part, nor waives in whole or in part any right, claim, remedy and/or defense, each and all of which are expressly reserved hereby." this guy's water line started leaking a couple weeks, or even a month, after i did some work on his property for the county sewer (it runs thru his property) and he is blaming me for the damages. i told him that his line is old and past its time so anything could of disrupted it. i also mentioned that his line would not have broken in multiple places, as he mentioned, due to my work. we finally came to an agreement to install a new line for him at a great price. after i installed his line he was very happy with the work. once i gave him the invoice he started complaining about how he thinks he doesn't owe as much as we stated ( which was what we agreed on before i even showed up). so my question here is; am i committing fraud here by issuing a mechanics lien?
if you and homeowner agreed to work of improvement, and you are a valid licensed contractor, and you performed the work, then you are entitled to get paid for the work. If he does not pay timely, you are free to file a mechanic lien against homeowner. Be careful about the time of your lien. You have ninety days from time of work to file and record the lien. Then, you have 90 days after the filing of the mech lien in which to file a lawsuit to prosecute the lien. If you don't, then the lien becomes invalid.
If you are a contractor that improved real property under an agreement with the owner or reputed owner, no, based on the facts as you have presented them, you have not committed fraud by recording a lien against the property in order to protect your payment rights. You should proceed to collect your money. Keep in mind, you must file suit within 90 days of recording your lien. Good luck.