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How can I get a false mechanics lien taken off my property.

OklahomaMechanics Lien

My contractor filed a mechanics lien on my property for $32,500. I signed a contract for an addition to be put on my home. The contract is for $88,300. I have unconditional lien wavers from his subs and from him totaling $137,000. I called the county clerk to ask them if I brought the waivers to them could they release the lien but the said "No, only he can release the lien". I thought I was protected because I have the waivers totaling MORE than the contract. How can I get the lien taken off my property? Thanks

1 reply

Nov 13, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. First, it's worth noting that even where a claimant does not have the right to file a mechanics lien, a lien filing is certainly possible. That is, county recorders offices have neither the authority nor the bandwidth to investigate the validity of each claim that is filed - so an invalid lien could certainly be filed. Further, it's worth noting that while the amounts of lien waivers received are certainly important, the parties from whom waivers are received are just as important. Meaning, even where the total sum of lien waivers exceeds the project price, if one claimant has not provided lien waivers for the full extent of the lien claim available to them, then that claimant could certainly have a valid lien claim. That being said, in the event that an invalid lien has been filed, an owner may have a few options to have the lien removed. For one, the cheapest and easiest way to have a lien removed is typically to convince the claimant to remove the claim themselves. Reaching out to the claimant to try and resolve the issue and get on the same page is often a good first step there. If the issue cannot be resolved via conversation, threatening to take legal action to have a lien removed can be effective - especially when a lien has a questionable basis. Further, informing the claimant that their liability can be extensive for a fraudulent lien can go a long way, too. Another option could be to file an action with the court in the county where the lien was filed in order to have the lien discharged - but anytime legal action is taken in court, it's wise to hire an attorney for representation in court. Finally, Oklahoma is a state where a mechanics lien can be bonded off by the property owner, so securing and filing a bond with the clerk of court could be effective to remove a lien from property, but it could be an expensive option. Lastly, considering a lien filing has taken place, and considering the amounts in play, it would be wise to consult a local construction or real estate attorney so they can review all relevant information and documentation and advise on how to move forward. Lien filings can be a pain in the neck, even for lawyers, so finding an attorney familiar with Oklahoma's lien laws could be important in making sure no missteps take place. This article from zlien may also be of use: A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?
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