How to I respond to a lien notice?

3 weeks ago

I received a lien notice—never heard of the supplier. The main contractor was fired after 50% of demo was complete. The lien filer is not returning phone calls—I don’t even have a bill or know what they are claiming I owe. Do you have a form I can respond with?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

It’s common for an owner to be surprised by a lien that’s been filed by a sub-tier claimant. Every situation is different, though. So, in a situation where an owner has received a Notice of Intent to Lien or has received notice of an actual mechanics lien filing, there could be a number of ways to react to that notice. We’ve written about potential responses to both in these articles: (1) I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?; and (2) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?.

With that being said, it may be helpful to get ahold of a lien claimant – be that through written notice, leaving a voicemail, or even with the help of an attorney. Generally, a Colorado Notice of Intent to Lien must include a copy of the lien claim which will be filed – so, if that’s the notice which was received, that Notice of Intent to Lien should have included information about the impending lien claim. Further, if a lien claim was actually filed, that lien will contain all of the relevant information. So, if the notice of the lien filing didn’t contain claim information, obtaining a copy of the filed lien from the local county recorder’s office may help to uncover the payment dispute at hand.

Finally, if the supplier was hired by someone else on the job, it would be a good idea to discuss the dispute with the party who hired the lien claimant. They’ll have a better idea as to what’s owed and unpaid to the lien claimant.

Unfortunately, Levelset doesn’t currently offer much in the way of documents or services for owners looking to respond to or contest a lien claim. But, for an owner who intends to contest a mechanics lien that’s been filed on their property, this resource may be useful: Notice of Intent to Challenge Lien Form.

With all of the above in mind – mechanics liens create a dangerous situation for property owners, so it’s generally a good idea to consult with a local construction attorney when a lien has been filed on your property. They’ll be able to review all relevant documentation and advise on how best to move forward. Good luck!

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