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How can I stop a foreclosure due to a mechanic lien?

ArizonaForeclosureMechanics Lien

Roof work was paid the half And I hold the other half because work was wrongly done and after several conversations with the contractor the job wasn’t fix and didn’t offer any garanty on it. Now I have a lien for the full amount not for the remaining half.

1 reply

May 21, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you've had trouble on this job - I know that must be frustrating. First, it's worth noting that when a mechanics lien has been filed on your property, it's a good idea to consult a local construction or real estate attorney. Mechanics liens can have drastic implications, and they're commonly the beginning of a larger legal dispute - so having a lawyer review the circumstances and documentation giving rise to the dispute is a good way to be sure things are done by the book and you're in the best position to fight a questionable lien claim.

With that being said, there are some steps an owner can take to try and fight off a lien claim. For one, mechanics lien rights only arise for amounts that are owed but unpaid. Now, a lien claim might still be filed when workmanship is in dispute, but when some payment has been made, a claimant can't "double dip" and lien those amounts as well. Further, when the amount on a lien claim is exaggerated or excessive, that will typically invalidate the claim and render it invalid and unenforceable. In situations where the lien claim has been intentionally overstated, the lien claim might even be considered fraudulent - giving rise to legal liability for the lien claimant. Of course, there's a difference between fraud and an honest mistake. Regardless, by informing a lien claimant that their lien is faulty, or even fraudulent, a property owner may be able to convince the lien claimant to release their lien rather than face an uphill legal battle.

Another option may be to contest the filed lien before an enforcement/foreclosure suit is initiated. Where an owner wants to officially contest the validity of a filed lien, they can file an action in court alleging faults in the lien like excessive amounts, as well as timing or notice issues.

Yet another option may be to bond off the filed lien. By doing so, an owner can discharge a lien that's been filed on their property. The lien doesn't just disappear though - the lien claimant can still pursue their payment claim against the bond. But bonding off a lien does take property foreclosure off the table, so it may be worthwhile for some owners. Still, obtaining a bond to discharge a mechanics lien can be an expensive undertaking. More on the subject of bonding off liens, here: Primer on Mechanics Lien Bonds and Bonding a Mechanics Lien..

With all that being said - the viability of the options above all heavily depend on the specifics of your circumstances and having a lawyer help you navigate the handling of a lien claim is typically a good idea.

For more information about how to respond to a filed lien, these articles provide some insight: (1) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?; and (2) Improper Lien Filed on Your Property? Here’s What to Do.
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