Had contract with company to do assorted repairs in my home, they walked out half way and now expects the second half of payment and even filed a Mechanics Lien.

Answered 3 weeks ago

1458 Answered Questions

Matt Viator

Legal Associate Levelset

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. zlien and Levelset don't currently offer much in the way of services for responding to a filed lien in FL, though an owner can pursue a Notice of Contest via either platform (and I'll discuss that option below). Still, I can provide some information that should be helpful when facing a Florida mechanics lien. First and foremost, it's important to understand the rules surrounding Florida liens. If the lien claimant improperly filed their lien, then it would likely be much easier to have the lien removed. Generally, mechanics lien rights arise when construction payments are owed but unpaid for work that's been performed on the project property. When a lien claim is filed for amounts not actually owed, or if the work giving rise to the "owed" amounts has not yet been performed, there's a good chance that the filed lien is invalid and unenforceable. And, if that's the case, it might be possible to convince the lien claimant to release their lien on their own accord so that they won't be entangled in a legal dispute over the lien. Another consideration might be a Florida Notice of Contest. When a Florida property owner sends a lien claimant a Notice of Contest, that will shorten the time the lien claimant has to make a decision on their claim. Normally, a lien claimant will have 1 year from the date they file their lien to enforce that lien (via lawsuit). However, when a Notice of Contest is sent, this timeframe is shortened to a mere 60 days. So, if a lien claimant fails to take legal action on their lien before 60 days is up, then that claimant's lien will be rendered invalid and unenforceable. Further, an owner may also have the option to have a lien released by filing an action in court contesting the validity of the filed lien, or also by potentially "bonding off" the filed lien. With all that being said, mechanics liens are serious business and regularly result in a larger legal dispute, so once a lien claim has been filed, the owner of the liened property will benefit from consulting a local construction or real estate attorney. They'll be able to review the circumstances and any documentation, then advice on how best to proceed in your situation. For more information about how owners respond to mechanics liens, this resource should be helpful: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now? For more on Florida's lien rules that apply to the lien claimant, this resource should be helpful: Florida Mechanics Lien Overview.

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