We completed HVAC work for a convenience store in the amount of $65,000.00. We were not paid. We filed a Mechanic's Lien, and now we have received a Notice of Contest of Lien today. We are not sure what our next step should be.
Apr 25, 2019
I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble getting paid for this job. First, it's extremely common for a property owner or contractor's first reaction to a lien claim to be to challenge that lien - regardless of whether there is any issue actually present with the lien claim. That idea is discussed in this article: My Lien Was Challenged — What Do I Do?
Regarding a Notice of Contest of Lien in Georgia, that filing serves as a more official lien challenge, and it shortens the timeframe for filing a GA lien. In Georgia, lien claimants will generally have a year from filing their lien before having to enforce their lien (or face an expired lien).
When a Notice of Contest of Lien is made, this deadline is shortened to a mere 90 days after the lien is contested. So, if a Notice of Contest of Lien is filed, and the mechanics lien is not enforced within 90 days, that lien will be rendered unenforceable. When a Notice of Contest of Lien is filed, that will generally serve as an indicator that the property owner intends to dispute the lien claim by whatever actions necessary.
So, it might be a good idea to consult a local construction attorney to evaluate potentially enforcing the filed lien. But, 90 days is quite a bit of time - and that time can be used to negotiate payment with an owner or the customer, and often, lien disputes can be resolved before any legal action becomes necessary.
If you have other questions regarding Georgia lien claims, feel free to come back to the Construction Legal Center or to check out the Georgia Mechanics Lien & Notice Overview.