What do do?

New MexicoLien WaiversPayment Disputes

Recently finished project owner owes final payment. Refusing to pay unless I sign lien waver. Owner also had minor water damage during project, cost me about 10k to fix. Owner now trying to claim 30k more of renovation work to be done with insurance after being paid 9k determined by adjuster. Insurance is unaware of work I did to repair damage. What do i do?

1 reply

Jan 15, 2020
First, it's common for a property owner to expect a lien waiver in exchange for final payment. After all, lien waivers were created to act as a sort-of receipt indicating that payment's been made in full. For situations where an owner wants a lien waiver before they make payment - conditional mechanics lien waivers can help with that. A conditional waiver doesn't waive any lien rights until payment has been made - but, once payment is made, the waiver becomes fully effective. More on that here: Unconditional Lien Waivers vs Conditional Lien Waivers. Regarding insurance and potential payouts - it'd likely be important to discuss the matter with your insurer and to inform them of the remedial work already performed to minimize the issue. That would very likely come into play when they're determining what payouts might be appropriate. Ultimately, though, unless there's a formal dispute over what's owed and what will be paid, then it will be up to the parties to negotiate a resolution that works for everyone. And, when negotiating, it might help to consult or hire a local construction attorney to help negotiate on your behalf. They could be helpful in assessing the circumstances and deciding how to proceed.
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