What type of "lien" process should my type of company pursue?

10 months ago

Dear Levelset Advisor:
I have utilized your “notice of intent to lien” letter recently for a delinquent in payment client. I did not do any type of construction work at this client’s home. What I do is appraise personal property to be sold, plus organize and conduct estate sales that are situated in clients’ homes.
This particular client chose to cancel her estate sale at the very last minute. My staff and I had already staged her home for the estate sale, displayed all of the household items that were being sold, researched resale market values and priced household merchandise, advertised the estate sale in several media venues, identified the fine jewelry to be sold and arranged for diamond rings to be appraised. The contractual agreement indicates that if the client cancels the sale, he/she are responsible to pay for services conducted and the amount is indicated in the contract.
The client engaged my company on July 3, 2019 and then canceled the estate sale on July 30, 2019. I was notified by her son to send him the invoice, which I sent shortly thereafter. No payment was received. After a couple of weeks, I called and left a message, there was no response. Two weeks ago I sent another invoice with a friendly letter, again no response.
I see that your services are geared to construction companies. Would my company fit in somehow or not?
Thank you for your kind assistance.
Sincerely,Cynthia Illicete-BurnsFull Circle Estate & Tag Sale Services LLC

Senior Legal Associate Levelset
399 reviews

In order for mechanics lien rights to arise, there must generally be some permanent improvement to the property that will be liened. Very typically, this is for construction services – and mechanics liens are often even referred to as “construction liens.” For work where the property won’t actually be improved itself – like with staging work, appraisal, maintenance, or management – mechanics lien rights typically won’t arise. Levelset discusses the distinction between this type of work and lienable work in this article: Do Repair and Maintenance Companies Have Mechanics Lien Rights?

Of course, note that even where a mechanics lien might not be the most appropriate recovery option, there will still be an opportunity to recover damages incurred or payments owed under a contract. Pursuing a lawsuit or small claim action based on a breach of contract claim or some other legal theory could always be fruitful. And, before ultimately pursuing a claim, attempting recovery via demand letter might be effective, too.

As you mentioned above, Levelset’s services are generally for those in the construction industry or for those performing construction-related work. As a result, our platform is currently designed to aid those in this industry. So, unfortunately, I’m not sure that a company specializing in appraisal, staging, sales, and management would find a lot of value in the Levelset platform. Though, anyone who provides construction-related work might benefit from the platform and services Levelset provides.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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