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Need to know how we can get the escrow company to release our funds?

North Dakota

We had a mechanics lien put on a property we did work on in 2016. We never received funds or heard from the builder until about 6 months ago we got a call from an escrow company. They said that the house was sold and that the builder put money in an account to pay the lien. they said we could go to their office and pick up a check. When we went to do that they said im sorry the builder is disputing the payment and until they hear from him they are not releasing the payment. After several attempts of them trying to get a hold of the builder and us they could not get a hold of him. At this point (6 months later) they are still holding our money waiting to hear from him and have already funded the loan and the people moved in. Not sure what we can do at this point?

1 reply

Apr 11, 2018
I'm sorry to hear about that. First, threatening legal action might be effective, and doing so through a demand letter sent by an attorney could give that threat a little extra "umph." However, if a party has deposited funds in escrow, they will likely need to consent to the release of funds. Keep in mind, though, that North Dakota has an extremely long time period for enforcing a lien - so if a lien is still filed on the property, enforcing that lien (or at least threatening to do so) could be fruitful. In North Dakota, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 3 years from the date on which the lien was filed. However, if someone with an interest in the property serves a written demand upon a lien claimant to enforce their lien, that lien must be enforced within 30 days from the date of the written demand. Considering this dispute is in the pretty advanced stages, though, hiring a local construction attorney might be the best bet - they will be able to assess all of the circumstances relevant to your situation and advise on a plan of action. Unfortunately, with the limited information available here, it would be hard to provide much valuable information regarding the release of funds from escrow.
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