Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I am a contractor and had been hired to do sub contracting work was not paid what is the most inexpensive way to get compenstation without filing a lawsuit. Can i place a lien on property?
I am a contractor and had been hired to do sub contracting work was not paid what is the most inexpensive way to get compenstation without filing a lawsuit. Can i place a lien on property?
I worked for contractor doing sub work property preservation it's been 2 months can not get ahold of contractor.
Jul 26, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you haven't been paid. There are a few options to recover payment without having to resort to a lawsuit, including potentially filing a lien claim as mentioned above. First, an effective method for recovery might be to simply send a document like a Notice of Intent to Lien. A Notice of Intent to Lien acts as a warning shot - it states that if payment isn't made, a lien will be filed. Because the mechanics lien remedy is such a drastic one, an owner or contractor typically cannot afford to call a claimant's bluff, and a Notice of Intent to Lien can lead to payment without even having to file a lien. Of course, if a Notice of Intent isn't enough to compel payment, an actual mechanics lien filing may become a viable option. Filing a mechanics lien does not constitute a lawsuit, and in fact, the strong majority of lien claims require no subsequent legal action. Further, because a lien filing doesn't constitute a lawsuit, and because a lien filing encumbers the underlying project property, a lien typically is far less expensive and can often be more effective than filing suit. The deadline for filing a lien claim will depend greatly on the type of project - For residential projects, the mechanics lien must be filed within 60 days from the date of last furnishing labor or materials. For utilities and all other projects, the mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days from the date of last furnishing labor or materials. Further, depending on the project type and the specific circumstances of a claimant, a preliminary notice may have been required. On residential jobs, subcontractors and suppliers must send Preliminary Notice to Owner of Mechanic's Lien Rights within 30 days from first furnishing labor or materials to the project. If this residential construction is a new construction a claimant will actually have 60 days from the start of the project to send this notice. If the above notice was required an unsent, the actual filing of a mechanics lien might not be a viable option (though sending demand letters, sending Notice of Intent to Lien, or going to small claims court may be options before resorting to traditional litigation). Finally, Indiana provides an interesting wrinkle in their lien laws for subs and suppliers - a Notice to Owner of Personal Liability. This document may be sent at any time, but it will only be effective against money not yet paid to the general contractor. On receipt of the notice, an owner is notified of that the sender has gone unpaid - and they're notified that they should withhold that amount from the general contractor. If the owner does not withhold said amount, the owner will become personally liable for the payment claim. Of course, if no money is owed from the owner to the general contractor, no funds may be withheld. Even still, such a notice could work to have an owner put pressure on their GC to resolve any payment disputes.