Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>How should I invoice a house if I want to be paid a remaining balance before a house closes for new construction.

How should I invoice a house if I want to be paid a remaining balance before a house closes for new construction.

WyomingMechanics LienPayment DisputesRecovery Options

I do new construction work. After completing the first portion of my work, I send an invoice for 80%. When the house is nearly finished and just about ready to close, I do my remaining work and submit an invoice for the 20%. Within a week, the house is closed and I may or may not get the remaining balance. The time frame is so short, that if I file lien, I may still have to wait until if/when the new owners ever sell. How can I make sure the tittle company is aware of my balance in enough time to be paid before closing?

1 reply

Apr 10, 2018
That's a tight timeframe. First, in order to create a sense of urgency, one option may be to put language on a final invoice stating that if payment is not timely received - a mechanics lien will be filed on the property. If that doesn't do the trick, a Notice of Intent to Lien can be sent to the owner to show that a claimant means business. Further, if the name of the title company is known, sending that notice to the title company can also be effective. Even if they can't necessarily do anything to speed up payment, a title company will not want to deal with mechanics lien claims, and they may put pressure on an owner to keep the property free of any potential lien claims. Further, if the buyer is known, their receipt of a Notice of Intent to Lien could also work to make sure payments are made timely. Just like a title company, new purchasers will want to be sure that no lien claims will be made on their newly acquired property. Plus, Wyoming is one of the few states where a Notice of Intent to Lien is required prior to a mechanics lien filing - it must be at least 20 days before to filing a mechanics lien. I'd also like to comment on the ability to recover on a lien claim that's actually made. When filed, mechanics liens create an interest in the property. The real power of a mechanics lien is potential - if the lien claim is not satisfied, a claimant can "enforce" or "foreclose" the lien, which could eventually result in the sale of the property to satisfy the lien claim. Thus, a lien claimant does not have to wait until an owner decides to sell the property. Rather, a lien claimant themselves can force the issue. Admittedly - most lien claims never get this far. But if a lien claim is filed and payment is still not made, a document like a Notice of Intent to Foreclose might be sent to show the owner that, if payment is not made, a claimant will proceed with a lien enforcement action. Ultimately, if payments for work are not forthcoming, the lien claim can be enforced via an action in court.
0 people found this helpful