I just found out a contractor we hired placed a lien on our property. I was told by our mortgage company it was filed in December. I was never notified and we do not owe him the amount of money he is requesting. There were so many things wrong on the job that we back charged him to fix the items he also agreed to deduct $4000 from the balance due and yet his lien is now including that amount. How do I fight back... I have never received anything from the courts or anything???
The lien is likely invalid for failure to provide notice as the Idaho lien statutes require that the lien be served upon you by hand delivery or by registered mail within 5 days of the date the lien was recorded. Service is effective regardless of whether you accepted the certified mailing. Regardless, the lien expires 6 months after the date it was recorded unless a lawsuit to foreclose the lien is filed in the county where the property is located. If the contractor failed to foreclose its lien within 6 months it is invalid and you can have it removed by filing a lawsuit to quiet title. Keep in mind that the contractor could still sue you for breach of contract even if the lien is invalid. Either party to a written contract can sue for damages due to a material breach by the other (including for non-payment) for up to 5 years after the construction work is substantially completed.