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How do I get rid of an already paid mechanics lien???

New YorkLien ReleasesMechanics Lien

I am a homeowner that had a tree fall onto/into my home. I hired a contractor to redo my roof, gutters, and bathroom. The contractor seemed sketchy from the beginning. After signing paperwork, he refused to give me copies of the paperwork (first red flag) - kept claiming he emailed them to me and there must've been something wrong with my email because I wasn't receiving his emails. He repaired the roof and gutters without issue. No further problems were found, no further materials were needed, the work was done in one day. Two weeks later, I got a phone call from my insurance company saying that they were issuing an additional check because they spoke to my contractor and were informed that all of the work had been completed. I informed them that the roof and gutters were completed, the bathroom was not. During this time, we informed the contractor that we no longer wanted him to do the bathroom because he was acting extremely aggressive. Fast forward ten more days later, I received another phone call that they were issuing yet another check, even more than the first check. I called the insurance to ask what the second check was for and they said for materials. No additional materials were purchased as all materials were purchased prior to the work being done and the work was done almost a month prior. I informed the insurance company representative of this and was told "they just issue the checks and it is up to the homeowner to distribute them accordingly." During the meantime, I have to go to a completely different state to cash the insurance checks because of the way my mortgage is written (they have to be included in the insurance checks and must also endorse - they also do not have a branch in my state and it would take a long time to mail out and have the checks returned). The contractor was informed of this and stated to take my time, he was in no rush. Apparently that was not the case as he informed my fiancé that he was filing a mechanics lien against my home without my knowledge. I was, and still have not been served with any documentation notifying me of this lien. However, after a county search, I found the lien. The lien contains false information (wrong date of contract, wrong contract amount, wrong reason that the amount had not been paid, etc...). All of this false information is detrimental to my character and I have enough going on in my life, the last thing I need is someone making me look bad after I'm already struggling. I paid off the amount of the mechanics lien to get it taken care of and notified the contractor that it was paid and he refuses to satisfy the lien with the court. I thankfully printed off a copy of the lien, the invoice with the lien amount, and the receipt stating it was paid because as soon as I paid off the lien he went online and changed the amount due and told me I owed him more money. I do not have more money to pay him, I don't know what to do and I want to get this lien off of my house and get this scam artist out of my life. I spoke to the county clerk and they said the contractor is the only one who can satisfy the lien without me contacting a lawyer and I do not have the money to do so. Help!

1 reply

Jan 26, 2023

You are going to need a lawyer. You will have to send a letter to the contractor that the lien fund is exhausted and the contractor paid. You and the mortgage company need to send the improper payment back to the insurance company with a letter of explanation. if the contractor persists, you will need to demand he foreclose and counterclaim for willful exaggeration. Good luck

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