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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Zlien filed a lien on a property at 5717 s.42nd st greenfield,wi in Milwaukee county. Property was sold because lawyers say the owner of the home bilden properties is in Waukesha county and that where the lien should have been filed

Zlien filed a lien on a property at 5717 s.42nd st greenfield,wi in Milwaukee county. Property was sold because lawyers say the owner of the home bilden properties is in Waukesha county and that where the lien should have been filed

WisconsinMechanics LienRecovery Options

Is this true and what am I suppose to do now?

1 reply

Apr 12, 2018
As a general matter, mechanics liens should be filed in the county where the project giving rise to lien rights is located. An owner's personal address is largely irrelevant. Further, that a liened property has been sold does not automatically defeat a lien claim. Mechanics liens represent a right to the underlying property, not a personal right against the owner - this means that the ability to recover via a lien claim is often still possible when there has been an ownership change of the liened property, especially when the lien was filed prior to a sale. In fact, when a lien claim exists prior to the sale of a property, a lien claimant may actually benefit from heightened priority. While Wisconsin's mechanics lien law isn't particularly clear on the subject of priority, in most states, encumbrances recorded prior to the mechanics lien would be superior to the mechanics lien and those filed thereafter would be subordinate. So a mortgage or other encumbrance on a property after a mechanics lien filing might actually be subordinate to a mechanics lien. Considering the deadline to enforce a Wisconsin lien is 2 years from the filing of the lien, a claimant can attempt to recover unpaid sums from the purchaser of the liened property. Regardless of whether a mechanics lien remains a viable option for recovery, there are certainly alternative methods available to recover unpaid amounts. For one, sending a demand letter to the party who failed to make payment can be an effective way to speed up payment. Such a demand letter can be particularly effective if made through an attorney. Next, sending a Notice of Intent to Foreclose often serves as a strong step for those with filed mechanics liens. A Notice of Intent to Foreclose serves as a warning shot to the property owner, telling them that the claimant will proceed with a mechanics lien foreclosure action if payment isn't made. Finally, litigation or a claim in small claims court are also options to recover payment. Litigation can be expensive and requires an attorney - and it's not without its risks. Small claims court can be just as risky - if not riskier - but typically avoids the need for hiring an attorney. Of course, both litigation and small claims court can be unpredictable. Ultimately, it's a feat to take on attorneys without having one in your corner - considering how far along this dispute is, hiring a local construction attorney would be a wise move. They will be able to assess the circumstances surrounding your claim, clear up any questions about lien priority, and provide advice on how to proceed. Plus, a lien foreclosure action would likely require an attorney.
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