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reply to intent to lien

PennsylvaniaNotice of Intent to LienPayment Disputes

Hello, We received an intent to lien (ref #1742334) after we notified the contractor that we were going to have to hire another contractor to fix all of the issues with the job that his crew did. In response, we filed a complaint through our Attorney General's office (& were told it could take some time for it to get assigned to an agent for it to be mediated). Today I added a comment to the intent to lien zlien site to let the contractor know that the complaint was filed. As far as I know he has not yet received a copy of that complaint. He has gotten pictures of many of the issues via text from when I first saw them; his solution was to come back a third time and apply a third coat of stain; I didn't trust that was going to work, and talked to 3 other contractors, all of whom said his solution not only would not fix the floors, it would make them worse, and that the issues that he left us with are going to require redoing the entire job. That's why we told him we would need our $$ back, and why we believe he had no right to file this intent to lien. We want to make sure we do whatever we can to prevent him from actually putting a lien on the house. I don't know if that means we need to hire a lawyer in addition to waiting for the AG complaint to be settled? Also, I know the intent references "10 days", but I don't see an actual date for when those 10 days are up. Can you please confirm just so we're clear on the timeline we're dealing with. Thank you for your help, Shannon

1 reply

Sep 25, 2018
I'm sorry to hear that your project went sideways, and I'm sure the current dispute has been a stressful ordeal. Preventing a mechanics lien filing can be a tall order - while the Pennsylvania mechanics lien statute provides for a route to challenge a lien claim once filed, the lien statute does not appear to provide for the actual prevention of such a filing. That doesn't mean there aren't steps that can be taken to try and stop a filing before it starts, though. If the dispute has really gotten out of hand and an owner is fearful that a lien might be filed, one way to prevent a lien claim might be to consult a local construction or real estate attorney and discuss your situation. Providing them with documentation, all communications, and any other relevant information will help them grasp a better understanding of the situation, and they'll be able to assess how best to move forward with the dispute. Plus, they will likely be able to specifically identify the flaws in a potential lien claim before it's even been filed (such as a failure to send applicable notices or missed deadlines). Notifying a potential claimant of the flaws in their lien claim and/or the basis on which a filed lien would be improper, illegal, or fraudulent can go a long way to convincing them not to file a lien claim. Of course, if possible, reaching out to the lien claimant themselves to try and resolve the dispute will always be the most direct and least expensive first step. But if a claimant refuses to discuss the dispute in a reasonable manner, other options, such as consulting an attorney, could be necessary. Finally, this article may be helpful, too: I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?
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