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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>My plumber is threatening me with a mechanics lien. He is charging me for work that has not been completed and also over charging me for supplies. Such as, he is charging me for 100 ft of piping when he only ran 50 ft. What do I do?

My plumber is threatening me with a mechanics lien. He is charging me for work that has not been completed and also over charging me for supplies. Such as, he is charging me for 100 ft of piping when he only ran 50 ft. What do I do?

GeorgiaMechanics LienPayment Disputes

My mechanic is threatening me with a mechanics lien. He is charging me for work that he had not started and over charging me for supplies. Such as, he laid 50ft of pipe and is charging me for 100ft.

1 reply

Oct 10, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. It can be scary when someone threatens a lien claim that seems improper. First, it's worth noting that a lien claim can be filed even if work has not yet been complete - so the fact that a claimant has not finished work will not automatically make their claim baseless. However, amounts being charged for work that's not yet been performed will not likely give rise to lien rights. Further, amounts that are excessive or overcharged should also not be lienable. Under § 44-14-361(c) of Georgia's mechanics lien statute, the amount that is due and owing to the lien claimant under the terms of their contract is subject to lien. Amounts exceeding what is due and owing under the contract (whether that contract is written, verbal, or implied) should not be included in a lien. If excessive amounts are included in a lien claim, those amounts could very well leave a mechanics lien invalid - and potentially fraudulent, if the claimant filed extra amounts on purpose. One option for property owners is to make sure the potential claimant is aware of consequences associated with a fraudulent lien claim. Informing the claimant that fraudulent liens could lead to serious consequences will often make them think twice about filing a lien claim. Another option could be to send a Demand for Filing Lien Claim - doing so will limit the amount of time to file a lien, but it could also escalate the dispute. When a Demand for Filing Lien Claim is properly sent in Georgia (in compliance with § 44-14-361.4), the lien claimant will only have 10 days from receiving the notice to file their lien claim. Of course, a Demand for Filing Lien Claim may only be sent after the claimant has finished their work on the project. Yet another option may be to reach out to a local construction or real estate attorney and to fully lay out all documentation and circumstances regarding this project. They'll be able to advise on how to proceed, plus if the lien is actually filed, fighting it will likely require the help of an attorney.
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