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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Hi. We are in middle of contract dispute in Michigan. We did not serve notice if service but did file mechanics lien. We are also not liscensed painter. Is the lien valid?

Hi. We are in middle of contract dispute in Michigan. We did not serve notice if service but did file mechanics lien. We are also not liscensed painter. Is the lien valid?

MichiganMechanics LienRight to Lien

We are trying to complete job. Builder owned property but is causing issues with completion.

1 reply

Dec 3, 2018
Good question. First, it's worth noting that Michigan's lien and preliminary notice rules (many of which can be found here: Michigan Lien & Notice FAQs) will vary depending on the type of project (residential or commercial) as well as the role of the claimant on the job. In Michigan, parties who have a direct contract with the property owner generally don't need to provide preliminary notice for commercial jobs in order to preserve the right to lien. On residential jobs, notice may be required - but when an owner is also serving as a contractor, that requirement could get a little hazy. Regarding licensure, Michigan is very strict with residential property - if licensure is required for the work being performed, a lien claimant must be licensed. If not, the right to lien will not exist, and a filed lien would be invalid and could actually lead to penalties. For commercial projects, it does not appear that the licensure requirement is quite as strict - but it's always a good idea to maintain licensure for your work (if it's required). Of course, even where there may be flaws with a filed mechanics lien, that doesn't mean the lien won't lead to payment. Leveraging a filed lien can go a long way since the prospect of a lien enforcement action is not something owners and contractors want to deal with. One way claimants can do this is through a Notice of Intent to Foreclose - it acts as a warning, stating that if payment isn't made soon, the lien will be enforced. Before making any decisions on enforcing or removing a lien, though, it would be wise to reach out to a local construction or real estate attorney. They will be able to further review the situation along with any relevant information and documentation then advise you how to proceed.
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