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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>We were served a lien and told we have 30 days to respond or we owe the amnount in the lien. Our GC claims they will pay it off before the 30 days but the 30 days is 4 days away. What should i do?

We were served a lien and told we have 30 days to respond or we owe the amnount in the lien. Our GC claims they will pay it off before the 30 days but the 30 days is 4 days away. What should i do?

MinnesotaMechanics Lien

We received a lien from the lumber company stating we owe the past due monies from the GC. The GC claims they are paying the lien off but has not done. We have 30 days to respond to the lien which comes up on Friday. What should we do?

1 reply

Apr 18, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about that - nobody wants a lien to disrupt their construction project and put their property in jeopardy. First and foremost, when a lien claim is filed due to another party's failure to make a payment, it's a good idea to talk to everyone involved and get a clear picture of the situation. If at all possible, getting everyone together in one place or on one call could help to smooth things over. If the issue can't simply be talked out, it might be time to put pressure on a contractor who's failed to make payments to their subs. Owners tend to have a lot of leverage over their contractors, especially when there's a lot of payment left to be made on the job, and it's often a good idea to make sure the prime contractor understands that a mechanics lien filing is their problem, too. Owners generally have a fair amount of recourse against their contractors. Specifically, under § 514.07 of Minnesota's mechanics lien statutes, an owner is entitled to withhold payment from their contractor in order to pay the claimant and deduct the cost from the contractor's pay when the contractor is liable for payment. Further, threatening to make other legal claims - like theft or breach of contract - might compel a contractor to make necessary payments, too. Keep in mind, though - when a lien claim is on the table, that's a serious liability for property owners. So, if a lien claim is looming, or if one has already been filed, it's generally a good idea to consult a construction attorney in order to try and avoid negative outcomes. These resources should be helpful to provide some insight into situations like yours, as well as what rules apply to Minnesota lien claimants: (1) I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?; (2) A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now?; and (3) Minnesota Mechanics Lien Overview.
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