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register transfer of lien to bond and serve notice of contest of lien or a suit to show cause

FloridaBonding Off LienLien ReleasesMechanics Lien

home location - hillsborough county, florida. background - sept 2018. staging company put in so called home managers ( contractors) to live in the house (not their employees) . they are almost tenants paying the utility bills etc etc. they claim their furniture was damaged due to a leak. and when asked for a final invoice to settle there was no response. may 2019 - when selling the house we realized that there was a claim to lien for $4500. They didnt serve any payment invoice nor did they serve a notice and the claim of lien was from the staging company stating damage to furniture of the home managers . i want to contest this and not to stop the sale, i have transferred the cliam of lien to a bond. now along with the bond, i understand i can also file a contest notice and serve them 20 days to show cause. need help from a lawyer for this.

1 reply

Jun 20, 2019
That's an interesting situation, and I'm sorry to hear you're having to fight off a questionable lien.

Once a mechanics lien has been transferred to a payment bond, that lien should be discharged from the property's record. So, after the transfer has taken place, a filed lien shouldn't really hold up the sale of property - at least not to the degree a sale might be held up by an outright lien claim. Though, title companies and mortgage providers can be finicky, at times.

As you alluded to above - there are additional steps that can be taken that will also discharge a mechanics lien. One option could be to file and serve a Notice of Contest of Lien. This document is with the county recorder where the lien was originally filed, and then it's sent to the lien claimant to inform them that their lien is being contested. So, unlike some other options, an owner can issue a Notice of Contest of Lien all by themselves, if they'd like. Once a Notice of Contest of Lien is filed, the lien claimant will have 60 days to enforce their lien. Otherwise, the lien will expire and become unenforceable. While this might not be the quickest option, it does not require a lawyer.

For an expedited option, an owner can file and serve a summons and complaint, pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 713.21, which explains why the mechanics lien should not be enforced and should be vacated. If the lien claimant fails to show cause for their lien, or if the lien claimant fails to commence their lien action, the court will order the lien be canceled and discharged. Of course, in order to file a summons, an owner should likely consult a local construction attorney, or at least a local attorney who can appear before the court and file the summons. If you need help finding an attorney in your area, this is a great resource for finding attorneys by location and practice area - plus you can read their clients' reviews: Avvo.com.

But, before proceeding with official action, it might be worthwhile to reach out to your title company to review the property record. If the filed lien has been transferred to a bond, dramatic action might not be necessary to facilitate the sale of the property.
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