Menu
Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Interest Charges and Lawyer Fees

Interest Charges and Lawyer Fees

MichiganMechanics Lien

We had a brick cleaning contractor that hasn't completed the job and billed for the whole amount due. Then he is trying to charge $300.00 interest after only 7 days after I received the bill. He also said that he is going to lien the property and his lawyer fees are $3,800 which we will be charged. Our problem with paying the whole bill is that he caused damage to our customers brand new stainless steel hot tub with the acid wash he uses and us and the customer had to pay someone to try to buff it out to hopefully fix it. This was out of our pocket not the brick cleaners. We owe him $1,700 and we look it as a fair amount to pay him only $1,000 due to the damage and the uncompleted job. Can you please give me some advice for this situation on what we should do? Plus, is him trying to charge so much illegal?

4 replies

May 13, 2021
There are several missing pieces to this puzzle: Did you have a written contractor with this sub which included any late fees? Why didn't he finish, did you kick him off after th sink damage? Did he provide a Notice of Furnishing to the owner? why in the world was the sink anywhere near the spray area, or not covered for protection? Unfortunately, the numbers you are talking about would never justify getting into any litigation except maybe Small Claims Court.
1 likes
May 13, 2021
Hi there, first as a residential consumer did you pull a permit for the work? Is the contractor licensed? These questions will bear on the ability of the contractor to collect. There are also statutory consumer protections available to you for fraudulent or deceptive practices. Is there a written contract? What provisions are on point? Is this part of a larger project with a general contractor, Notice of Commencement, Notice of Furnishings, Sworn Statements, etc.? Lien rights may not be preserved? There is also leverage through administrative complaints and disciplinary action on the merits as the contractor is part of a state licensed profession. Was the $1,000 truly a settlement that was offered and accepted? More facts are needed here.
0 likes
May 13, 2021
  • Check your contract for a “Dispute Resolution” clause. It may contain an arbitration provision which you can initiate on your own. If not,
  • You can request that the contractor participate in “Mediation” to resolve the dispute out of court.
  • The Michigan Supreme Court website contains information on the Community Dispute Resolution Program and the location and contact information for the Dispute Resolution Centers throughout the state. They will be able to assist you in initiating the request to mediate with the contractor. The link is provided: https://courts.michigan.gov/Administration/SCAO/OfficesPrograms/ODR/pages/find-a-mediation-center.aspx
1 likes
May 17, 2021
First, Lawyer fees of $3K for a $1.7K total job to file a lien are crazy -- there are several services that will do it for $350-$500. That said $3K for foreclosure of a lien after it has been filed are reasonable. Second, document what your client's actual damages are.. and what your out of pocket costs are to finish the job he was supposed to do. Third, is the brick cleaning part of a much larger job? If not I do not know if it would even be covered by the Michigan Construction Lien act (take a good look at the definition of construction in the act) Finally a construction lien does NOT prohibit you from defending or counter claiming to recover the damages. BTW The prevailing party in a construction lien dispute may be able to charge attorneys fees so it could get expensive awful fast.
0 likes

Add your answer or comment

Not the answer you were looking for? Check out other Mechanics Lien topics or ask your own question