I placed a lien on property – now the owner is threatening to sue me…what do I do now

2 weeks ago

The owner of the property gave a letter to the original contractor stating he would pay the balance of the invoice once a loan was in place since the lien is causing him not to be able to secure the loan. We asked that our company be named in the letter in order for us to release the lien and the property owner threaten us in a text message…what recourse do we have now…do you have any attorneys in Lexington County, SC that you could refer us to call?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
202 reviews

Tempers can flare when trying to sort out the timing of a mechanics lien release. But, it’s completely normal – and even advisable – that a lien claimant would ask for assurance that they’ll be paid once the lien is released. Honestly, unless some other agreement or payment security in place, it makes sense that a subcontractor wouldn’t be willing to release their lien. Levelset discusses some of the tension with timing lien releases here: Construction Lien Release Process: the Timeline is Tricky.

Additionally, keep in mind that it’s often an owners knee-jerk reaction to threaten a lawsuit or legal action after a lien is filed on their property. And, just because an owner challenges your lien doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to respond in one way or another. Though, if legal threats are being made, the help of an attorney can really provide some peace of mind.

I don’t personally know any South Carolina attorneys I could recommend, but Michelle Kane of Bennett Legal Group is a member of the Expert Center, and contacting her may be a good start. You can find her profile here: Michelle Kane | Bennett Legal Group.

If the GC will work with you to help make sure you get paid, then this article could be valuable: Don’t Want to File a Mechanics Lien? Here Are 5 Other Options. It discusses some options for working with a customer to make sure payment is made, that way a lien won’t be the only way to make sure you get paid.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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