mechanic lien

7 months ago

We had our countertops in the kitchen replaced by a local who was supposed to do the work within 3 days but took 30 days. We had to hire a different company to finish some of the work. Their tile person had caulking on the electrical outlets which in turn burned out and almost started a fire (we have the pictures). Electrician had to be hired to fix the issue then some of tile work had to be redone, wall had to be redone and new painter hired.
Due to the fact that we did not have. kitchen for a month we had to constantly eat out. Now they are trying to file a mechanical lien on my house 4000 USD. I rather hire a lawyer for twice or three times the amounts than pay these guys. what are my options ?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
445 reviews

There are a few different potential courses of action that might be on the table for an owner when a claimant is threatening to file a mechanics lien. And, as you mentioned above, hiring a construction or real estate lawyer will certainly help to clarify your options, as well as which ones might be the most fruitful in your particular circumstances.

With that in mind, let’s look at some potential options. And, before diving in, here’s a resource that should help: I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?

Fighting off a North Carolina mechanics lien

Fighting off a lien claim before it’s actually been filed can be tough. But, if there are obvious flaws with the would-be lien claim, or if the amounts they’re claiming are obviously excessive or even fraudulent, then an owner may be able to convince the claimant to stand down.

If an owner (potentially, with the help of an attorney) can show that there are serious issues with the claim and that the claimant would open themselves up to liability for an improper or fraudulent claim, the potential backlash from filing a lien might be enough to convince the claimant to avoid pursuing it in the first place. So, sending a letter threatening legal claims against the lien’s validity might help.

Once a mechanics lien is filed, options for disputing a lien become more clear

Once a lien is filed, an owner can typically fight off a lien claim with a little more certainty than mere threats.

For one, North Carolina owners are entitled to bond off mechanics lien claims filed against their property. This won’t make a claim disappear in its entirety, but it will force the claimant to pursue a lawsuit against the bond in order to get paid. And, it will free up the property title from the claim. Granted, this may only be a temporary fix – and an expensive one at that.

Another option would be to challenge the merits of the lien claim via legal action. Owners, usually with the help of an attorney, regularly dispute mechanics liens for a variety of reasons – like issues over defects or workmanship, disputed claim amounts, errors on the face of the claim, etc. So, consulting a local construction or real estate attorney and having them review the claim then advise on how to challenge it could be a fruitful path, too.

Of course, keep in mind that a mechanics lien won’t be automatically invalid just because there’s a dispute over workmanship or dispute over what’s owed. So, reaching out to an attorney who’s knowledgeable about North Carolina mechanics lien claims could be really beneficial.

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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