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How do I get a mechanic lien off my home? I paid the contractor and have proof. He will not complete the release of lien

MichiganLien ReleasesMechanics Lien

On July 25th 2018 I hired a contractor to trim a tree that caused an insurance claim on my rental property and to my neighbor's property. The contract was not fulfilled and I let the contractor know my neighbor called to alert me it was not according to the agreement ( I live an hour and a half away). I let the contractor know I needed to see the property before I would issue payment. I went to see the tree on 7-30-18 and it was not trimmed according to our agreement. I issued a check for payment on 8-3-18 since I was receiving threats for payment. I decided to pay this unprofessional person to go away. Meanwhile I still have to have three limbs cut from the tree. On 8-10-18 I received a recorded claim of lien from Oakland county dated 8-6-18. I have proof the cashed check dated 8-7-18. I have called this contractor to get the lien released but he will not contact me back. Is there a template I can send to demand the release? What is the time frame he must complete this after he received payment?

1 reply

Aug 23, 2018
This is a frustrating situation in which you find yourself - when payment is made and a lien still appears it doesn't seem right.

The power behind a mechanics lien (especially if the property owner is not anticipating selling or refinancing the property) is the ability to initiate a foreclosure lawsuit to get paid. In the event that payment was made, it is implausible that such a suit would be initiated or successful, so the risk may be minimal and waiting until the lien expires and is unenforceable may be an option.

However, nobody likes a line on their property.

In Michigan §570.1127 Sec. 127. (1) states that:

"When any claim of lien has been fully paid, the lien claimant shall deliver to the owner, lessee, or other person making payment a certificate, witnessed and acknowledged in the same manner as a discharge of mortgage, that the claim has been paid and is now discharged. If an action to enforce the construction lien through foreclosure is pending, the lien claimant also shall furnish, upon request, those documents which are necessary to effect a discontinuance or dismissal of the action and a discharge of any notice of lis pendens filed in connection with the action."

This section does not provide the time period in which such documents must be provided. However, if a reasonable;e time passes without such documents being provided a property owner could petition the court for the county in which the property is located to release the lien, and award damages / costs against the non-responsive claimant.

Additionally, to the extent the lien claimant was not properly licensed, Michigan law holds that:

"The owner of residential property on which a construction lien has been recorded by a person who was not licensed as described in section 114,1 or any person affected by the lien, may bring an action to discharge the lien. . .If the court . . .determines that the person who recorded the lien was not licensed as required, the person is liable to the person who brought the action for all damages that result from the recording and any attempts to enforce the lien, including actual costs and attorney fees."
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