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How to I begin to recover money for Renovations i made to ex girlfriend home

IndianaBankruptcyCollectionsConstruction ContractJoint ChecksLawsuitLien ForeclosureLien PriorityMechanics LienPay When PaidPreliminary NoticeRecovery Options

Had an oral agreement with my ex girlfriend that pay to renovate her home sell in 2 years use equity for our relocation little did I know I was set up from the beginning. The relationship ended immediately once I cut of the money flow and she proceeded to file all sort of legal claims and accusations that made it impossible for me to attempt recovery. Over the course of a3 year relationship she has incurred an unjust enrichment of over 75k. Where do I begin. Can I file a lein on home.

1 reply

Nov 11, 2019
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining whether or not a mechanics lien might be appropriate.

Filing a mechanics lien when the amount unpaid is unclear

For one, mechanics liens are generally available when payment is expected for the work that's been performed. So, where some form of a barter was contemplated, that can complicate the ability to lien since there isn't a contract price or expected payment to base the lien filing off of. Still, a claimant may be able to establish the cost of their work in other ways. And, § 32-28-3-1 of the Indiana mechanics lien statute states that a lien may be filed "to the extent of the value of any labor done or the material furnished, or bothDeadline for filing an Indiana mechanics lien..."

The deadline for a mechanics lien on residential property is short in Indiana

Note also that Indiana has a very short mechanics lien deadline for residential construction projects. When the work was on a residential property, a lien claimant must file their lien within 60 days of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. And, if that deadline comes and goes without a lien being filed, then any lien filed afterward would be invalid and unenforceable. So, even where a valid mechanics lien might have been an option, and even when there's a provable underlying debt - the right to lien may be lost if too much time passes before the lien is filed.

How to file an Indiana mechanics lien

If the deadline to file a mechanics lien hasn't passed, and if the claimant can show (and prove) what they're owed for their work, then a mechanics lien claim may well be an effective recovery option. If you'd like more background on how exactly to pursue a lien claim, or what other considerations should come into play when filing a lien, here are some great resources: -  Indiana Mechanics Lien Guide and FAQs - Mechanics Lien Indiana: How to File a Mechanics Lien in Indiana

Recovery options outside of the mechanics lien process

Of course, a mechanics lien is only one recovery tool. A party who goes unpaid for their work may have other options. Particularly, as you mentioned above, unjust enrichment can help to recover construction payments when there's no contract or set price for the work. For the most clarity on what options may be available to you, it'd be helpful to reach out to an Indiana construction attorney. They'll be able to review your circumstances and advise on how best to move forward. Further, Levelset has this resource which may be valuable: Can’t File a Lien? Here Are Some Other Options For Recovery.
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